Inglewood, in the midst of an economic boom, plans to cap rent increases at 8% a year
In a city where property values and rents are soaring in anticipation of the opening of an NFL stadium, Inglewood plans to impose a rent-control ordinance Tuesday that would cap increases at 8% annually.
The proposed ordinance, which will be considered by the City Council at 2 p.m. at City Hall, 1 W. Manchester Blvd., also would require landlords to pay for the relocation of tenants who can’t afford a rent increase greater than 4%.
Earlier this year, the city adopted an emergency moratorium that froze rent increases while officials researched a more permanent solution. The ordinance up for vote Tuesday was created from a comprehensive study of rent control policies in other Southern California cities and input from the community, according to a staff report.
Inglewood is undergoing a transformation spurred by the new $4.2 billion stadium for the Rams and Chargers, a revitalized Forum concert venue, the arrival of a Metro line and other developments. Property values — and rents — have skyrocketed at the same time. A city survey found residents have received increases ranging from 2% to 140%. More than half of Inglewood’s residents are renters, according to a staff report.
If Tuesday’s ordinance passes, landlords will be able to ask for only one rent increase, up to 8%, per year. If the rent increases by more than 4%, the tenant can opt to move out and the landlord will have to pay a relocation fee starting at $5,310, or the equivalent of three times the average rent in Inglewood. Additional fees are required for residents who have been tenants for five to 10 years, more than 10 years, or who are disabled, minors or senior citizens.
While the relocation fee can increase each year, it can not exceed $7,500, according to the draft ordinance.
The ordinance also bars landlords from terminating a lease without a “just cause” reason, such as a tenant failing to pay rent, causing a nuisance or breaching the lease.
Uplift Inglewood, a citizens group, has fought for rent control for nearly four years. The group applauded the ordinance as a victory for residents, but argued there is still more work to be done.
Uplift Inglewood leaders want to tie the ordinance to the consumer price index and limit increases to 5% a year. They also have asked for an elected rent board and a rollback on rents to October 2017 to “accommodate hard-working residents who have already been gouged in the corporate real estate market.”
““We have fought long and hard to see permanent rent stabilization come to fruition in Inglewood,” said D’Artagnan Scorza, an Uplift Inglewood member, in a statement. “While this is a major victory for the housing justice movement at large, we need to ensure that it provides the protections that Inglewood residents deserve.”