A huge issue facing landlords within the City of Los Angeles is renting units that may not have a certificate of occupancy. Often these units are garage conversions, converted apartments, or makeshit homes. Under the Los Angeles Rent Stabilization Ordinance, a landlord can only rent a unit that is lawfully registered with the City. This means that it has a certificate of occupancy from the Department of Building and Safety and it is properly registered with the Los Angeles Housing Department.
The Los Angeles Times reports that tenants and landlords may be working together to attempt to provide “amnesty” for illegal units. The issue that often arises is that “illegal units” provide affordable housing, but once discovered by the City of Los Angeles, these units must be vacated.
In order to vacate units, landlords are often required to pay relocation assistance. However, tenants are unable to find equivalent affordable housing. This interesting unity of landlord and tenant groups may be what Los Angeles needs to address unlawful units within the City.
“Landlords, tenants unite on amnesty plan for illegal apartments” provides more detail on this issue.