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Rent Control Takes Effect For LA County's Unincorporated Areas

LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) – Landlords in unincorporated areas of Los Angeles County will only be allowed to hike rents by 3 percent per year on certain apartments under a new temporary ordinance that took effect Thursday.

The county Board of Supervisors approved the temporary Rent Stabilization Ordinance in November. It also provides certain eviction protections. Landlords can only evict tenants with "just cause."

The ordinance will be in effect for six months. The board can either vote to extend it or replace it with a permanent one.

It does not apply to single-family homes, condos and some apartments.

It's similar to the city of L.A.'s Rent Stabilization Ordinance, which also allows landlords to increase rent by only 3 percent every year for rent-controlled units built before 1979.

Supervisor Sheila Kuehl, who championed the plan to limit rents while the county considers longer-term solutions, said an estimated 200,000 renters will be protected by the county ordinance. More than 65 percent of the county is unincorporated, and among those areas are included East L.A., Ladera Heights, Lennox and Valencia.

"Several recent local studies indicate that rent stabilization, thoughtfully adopted with other market regulation measures, can successfully protect tenants at risk of eviction with minimal negative impact on the housing market," Kuehl said.

The board had backed state Proposition 10 on the November ballot, but the measure failed. The proposition would have given local jurisdictions more leeway to impose rent controls by repealing the 1995 Costa-Hawkins Rental Housing Act that limits rent control to older housing stock.

Supporters of rent control have insisted that regulations are needed to prevent sudden, skyrocketing rent hikes that often require people to move our or sometimes force them to live on the streets. But opponents contend the limits on rent increases unfairly interfere with building owners' ability to do business.

For more information on the new ordinance, click here.

(© Copyright 2018 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. City News Service contributed to this report.)

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