There is a shortage of decent, safe and sanitary housing in the City of Los Angeles resulting in a critically low vacancy factor.
Tenants displaced as a result of their inability to pay increased rents must relocate but as a result of such housing shortage are unable to find decent, safe and sanitary housing at affordable rent levels. Aware of the difficulty in finding decent housing, some tenants attempt to pay requested rent increases, but as a consequence must expend less on other necessities of life. This situation has had a detrimental effect on substantial numbers of renters in the City, especially creating hardships on senior citizens, persons on fixed incomes and low and moderate income households. This problem reached crisis level in the summer of 1978 following the passage of Proposition 13.
At that time, the Council of the City of Los Angeles conducted hearings and caused studies to be made on the feasibility and desirability of various measures designed to address the problems created by the housing shortage.
In August, 1978, pending development and adoption of measures designed to alleviate the City’s housing crisis, Council adopted Ordinance No. 151,415 which temporarily rolled back recently imposed rent increases, and prohibited most rent increases on residential rental properties for six months. Ordinance No. 151,415 expires on April 30, 1979.
This ordinance has successfully reduced the rate of rent increases in the City, along with the concomitant hardships and displacements. However, a housing shortage still exists within the City of Los Angeles and total deregulation of rents at this time would immediately lead to widespread exorbitant rent increases, and recurrence of the crisis, problems and hardships which existed prior to the adoption of the moratorium measure.
Therefore, it is necessary and reasonable to regulate rents so as to safeguard tenants from excessive rent increases, while at the same time providing landlords with just and reasonable returns from their rental units. In order to assure compliance with the provisions of this chapter violations of any of the provisions of this chapter may be raised as affirmative defenses in unlawful detainer proceedings. (Amended by Ord. No. 166,130, Eff. 9/16/90.)