Culver City Observer -

Rent Control, Tenant Protection Policies Discussed at Council Meeting

 

August 27, 2020

The City Council this week continued its effort to establish a permanent rent control ordinance in Culver City.

At its Monday meeting, Councilmembers spent nearly 3 hours evaluating rent control and tenant protection policies for inclusion in a permanent program. The proposed policies dealt with no-fault evictions, permissible rent increases, rent registry, "mom and pop" landlords and "fair and reasonable return" analysis, among other items.

The issue of permanent rent control was brought on July 16, when the Council voted 4-1 to extend the Interim rent control Ordinance (IRCO) until Oct. 31. At that meeting, councilmembers began discussing an outline of provisions and regulations to extend rent control indefinitely.

At Monday meeting, many local landlords called the rent control proposal "a sham" and a "regressive law beyond draconian" while others blasted the Council for "trying to railroad us" with rent control before the Nov. 3 election.

"If the list of proposed regulations gives you a headache, it should," said Protect Culver City in a statement. "They would wreck all but the biggest landlords in the city as they don't' have the means for such legal overhead. This will force Culver City tenants into newer developments which cost 2-3 times what mom and pops charge. All for an ideological solution searching for a problem."

Protect Culver City is a group of local business owners and landlords that garnered enough signatures to place an initiative on November 3 ballot, giving the voters to final word on the issue of rent control in Culver City.

"It's important to tell Council they may not make anything permanent until after the election," the statement read. "Our ballot measure says so. And they may not try to hide behind "tenant protections" as some loophole to our ballot measure. We will be contesting all of it, especially once our measure wins."

Representatives Protect Culver City Renters, a group advocating for renter protections, also addressed the Council. They voiced their support for permanent rent control program and called on Council to limit rent increases to CPI, provide renovation/relocation fees for tenants as well as other rental protection measures.

Following their lengthy discussion, Councilmembers instructed staff to draft a rent control ordinance – containing all of their suggestions -- and present it to the Council at its September 14 meeting.

Mayor Goran Eriksson told staff: "We want a nice balance between tenants and landlords."

 

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