Rent Control Charter Amendment & Regulations

Rent Control Law    

Rent Control Charter Amendment

This is the original rent control law that Santa Monica voters approved in April 1979. It was amended by the voters in 1984, 2002, and 2010. Those amendments are also included. The regulations that follow were adopted by the Rent Control Board to implement and enforce the Rent Control Law.

Summary of Regulations

Chapter 1 - Rules for Board Meetings

Chapter 2 - Definitions: Words and phrases used in the Rent Control Charter Amendment or regulations such as: owner-occupied dwellings; principal place of residence; privileges as housing services and material terms; and healthcare providers. 

Chapter 3 - General Rent Adjustments: Annual general rent adjustments from 1979 to the present; surcharges for school taxes, etc.; separate agreements; vacancy rent increases for controlled units (including TORCA units); base rent and registration of condominium units not sold separately; notice of maximum allowable rents; and new maximum allowable rents for tenants not in occupancy.

Chapter 4 - Rent Adjustment Petition and Agency-Initiated Hearings: Procedures and standards for filing individual rent adjustment petitions including: increase petitions; decrease petitions (maintenance and construction-related conditions, loss of housing services); and increase schedules in individual increase cases for severe economic hardship cases.

Chapter 5 - Removal Permits: Clarifies the scope of authority granted by a removal permit, the rent-controlled status of removed units, and the expiration of permits. Prior regulations regarding standards and procedures for obtaining a permit to remove controlled rental units from the rental housing market by demolition, conversion, or other means have been suspended. See Rent Control Charter Amendment Section 1803(t).

Chapter 6 - Claims of Vested Rights:  Standards and procedures to substantiate a claim to a vested right to be exempted from the removal permit requirements of Chapter 5.

Chapter 7 - Rent Rollback: Describes rent rollback required upon the passage of the Rent Control Charter Amendment in 1979. Also includes methods to calculate base rents for manager-occupied units.

Chapter 8 - Administrative Remedies for Rent Overcharges or Nonregistration: Standards and procedures to establish violations of the rent overcharge (excess rent) and registration provisions of the Charter Amendment.

Chapter 9 - Evictions: Clarification of the just causes for eviction contained in §1806(a) of the Charter Amendment. Detailed information on limitations, notice, and "good faith" requirements for evictions for owner-occupancy (§1806(a)(8)).(h)).

Chapter 10 - Judicial Review: References to applicable Code of Civil Procedure sections for judicial review of final Rent Control Board decisions.

Chapter 11 - Registration Fee: Amount of annual registration fees from 1980 to the present as well as deadlines for payment, pass-through and notice requirements, and consequences of delinquent payments. Registration fee waiver requirements for owner-occupants, very low-income senior citizens; very low-income disabled tenants; and units participating in a government-funded rent subsidy program (Section 8). Permanent fee waiver standards for single-family dwellings and condominium units (including TORCA units).

Chapter 12 - Exemptions and Coverage: Procedures and standards for obtaining an exemption from Rent Control.  Includes standards and procedures for obtaining exemptions for three-unit or less owner-occupied properties, hotels and motels, and extended medical care facilities.  Also includes information on lapsing owner-occupied exemptions. 

Chapter 13 - Registration:  Requirements for landlord registration and re-registration of rent levels and amenities for controlled rental units; explanation of proper registration; and hearing procedures for determining and/or amending registered rents and amenities.  Procedures to resolve disputes related to the establishment of new rental rates pursuant to Civil Code Section 1954.53(c) (the "Costa-Hawkins Rental Housing Act").  Also includes certification of rent levels and post-certification rent level verification process.

Chapter 14 - Security Deposits: Definitions and standards for establishing security deposits. 

Chapter 15 - Hearing Procedures: Standards and procedures for issuing subpoenas to compel attendance of material witnesses and production of relevant documents or other physical evidence at administrative hearings conducted by the Board or its hearing examiners.  Standards and procedures for quashing or limiting subpoenas for the protection of witnesses.

Chapter 16 - Withdrawal of Accommodations: General provisions and procedures for withdrawal of accommodations from the rental business pursuant to California Government Code Sections 7060 et seq. (the "Ellis Act").  Restrictions on owners and successors in interest.  Also, procedures to be followed upon re-rental of accommodations.

Chapter 17 - Incentive Housing Program: Establishes a program to secure the affordability of rental units for low and very low-income persons through regulatory agreements with participating landlords.

Chapter 18 - Reserved for future use.

Chapter 19 - Reserved for future use.

Chapter 20 - Partial Invalidity of Regulations


Resolutions of the Rent Control Board

Resolution 22-001: A resolution of the Rent Control Board of the City of Santa Monica announcing that the 2022 annual general adjustment for rent-controlled units is 6%, and imposing a limit on the general adjustment of $140, effective September 1, 2022. 

Resolution 21-003: A resolution of the Rent Control Board of the City of Santa Monica in support of extending the eviction moratorium, and authorizing the Administrator to sign onto a letter of support on the Board’s behalf.

Resolution 21-002: A Resolution of the Rent Control Board of the City of Santa Monica announcing that the 2021 annual general adjustment for rent-controlled units is 1.7%, and imposing a limit on the general adjustment of $39, effective September 1, 2021.

Resolution 21-001: A resolution of the Rent Control Board of the City of Santa Monica in support of AB 854, legislation pending in the California Legislature relating to the Ellis Act, and authorizing the Administrator to send a letter of support on the Board’s behalf. 

Resolution 20-003: A Resolution of the Rent Control Board of the City of Santa Monica approving revisions to administrative hearing processes and procedures as provided for by Regulation 15020.

Resolution 20-002: A Resolution of the Rent Control Board of the City of Santa Monica announcing that the 2020 annual general adjustment for rent-controlled units is 1.4%, and imposing a limit on the general adjustment of $32, effective September 1, 2020.

Resolution 20-001: A resolution of the Rent Control Board of the City of Santa Monica approving revisions to administrative hearing processes and procedures as provided for by Regulation 15020.

Resolution 19-005: A resolution of the Rent Control Board of the City of Santa Monica adopting revisions to the Board's records retention schedule.

Resolution 19-004: A resolution of the Rent Control Board of the City of Santa Monica announcing that the 2019 annual general adjustment for rent-controlled units is 2%, and imposing limit on the general adjustment of $44, effective September 1, 2019.

Resolution 19-003: A resolution of the Rent Control Board of the City of Santa Monica urging the City Council to amend the Municipal Code to (1) ensure that building or technical permits are not issued to permit non-necessary work in tenant-occupied units without the tenant's consent; and (2) prevent the reconfiguration of units that are currently controlled, or that have been subject to control and may again be subject to control, in such a way that a unit is eliminated or reconfigured in a way that makes the unit more easily converted for rental to separate households.

Resolution 19-002: A resolution of the Rent Control Board of the City of Santa Monica in support of AB 36, respecting the application of local rent-control laws to single-family homes and new construction; AB 1481, respecting just cause for eviction; AB 1482, respecting rent gouging; SB 329, respecting discrimination against sources of income used to pay rent; AB 1399, respecting clarification of the Ellis Act; and SB 18, respecting legal assistance for tenants facing eviction.

Resolution 19-001: A resolution of the Rent Control Board of the City of Santa Monica urging the City Council to (1) impose a moratorium on the development of new projects on sites in the Pico Neighborhood that previously had been occupied by rent controlled units until (a) the City Council completes its evaluation of possible zoning restrictions on properties from which units were withdrawn from the market under the Ellis Act; and (b) the City Council completes its adoption of a Pico Neighborhood Plan; and (2) consider increasing affordable-housing in-lieu fees for projects that replace rent-controlled housing.