Steve Lopez from the L.A. Times had recently wrote about a family in Echo Park being displaced as a result of a new development being built on their property. The family who had lived there for 31 years is being “asked” to leave. I quoted “asked” because if they are not out by a certain date, the landlord can start an unlawful detainer, or eviction, against them. The article is “After 31 Years in Echo Park, victims of displacement by gentrification.”

The Los Angeles Rent Stabilization Ordinance, the formal name of Los Angeles’ rent control ordinance, is aimed to protect renters living in rent-controlled apartments. However, the issue with the Echo Park family in the article is that the Los Angeles Housing and Community Investment Department has determined that the family lived in a single family home. Single family homes do not fall within the protections of the Los Angeles Rent Stabilization Ordinance. This means that tenants in a single family home in Los Angeles can lawfully receive a 30 or 60 Day Notice to Quit and they can have their raised at any time (within California law).

The landlord for the property made an offer for the family to move out and provided $12,500 in “relocation.” However, a tenant in a single family home is not entitled to any relocation under the Los Angeles Rent Stabilization Ordinance. Often times developers and landlords offer tenants in single family homes to pay some “relocation” in order to avoid the eviction process; however, they are not required to pay it.

For both landlords and tenants, it is always important to know whether your property in Los Angeles is rent controlled or not. A call to the Los Angeles Housing Department may be able to answer that question quickly.