Los Angeles Condo Conversion Laws
SEC. 47.06. TENANT RELOCATION ASSISTANCE WHERE APARTMENTS ARE TO BE CONVERTED.
(Title and Section Amended by Ord. No. 153,592, Eff. 5/11/80.)
A. Statement of Purposes. At the present time, there is a critically short supply of rental housing in the City of Los Angeles. Many rental housing units have been removed from the rental market through conversion to condominiums, stock cooperatives, community apartment projects, hotels and commercial uses. Tenants who are evicted due to conversion are experiencing serious difficulties in locating comparable replacement rental housing. These difficulties are particularly acute for elderly tenants and those with physical limitations, particularly the handicapped and disabled. In addition, families with minor dependent children face greater relocation difficulties than families without such children.
The City’s condominium conversion ordinance addresses these grave public health and welfare problems in the context of new conversions of existing rental units to various forms of divided ownership. However, that ordinance does not provide assistance to tenants displaced due to the conversion of their rental units to condominiums, stock cooperatives or community apartment projects exempted from the new conversion ordinance, or to hotels. Additionally, in some instances tenants displaced due to conversions already approved by the City (under the previous conversion ordinance) are not receiving relocation assistance, yet often face similar relocation difficulties.
Since the conversion of rental units to condominiums, stock cooperatives, community apartment projects, hotels and commercial uses is a substantial cause of the rental housing shortage, the City Council finds and declares that it would be just and proper for the subdividers who may enjoy the benefits of such conversions to assist tenants who are displaced by the conversion activity and who otherwise would be forced to bear the burdens of displacement without any assistance. The Council also finds that the necessity for relocation assistance is significantly less for the tenants of luxury apartment units.
B. Definitions. For purposes of this section, the definitions in Section 12.03 of this Code and the following definitions shall apply:
Landlord: An owner, lessor, or sublessor, (including any person, firm, corporation, partnership, or other entity) who receives or is entitled to receive rent for the use of any rental unit, or the agent, representative or successor of any of the foregoing.
Notice of Termination: The notice of intention to terminate tenancy, whether given by a landlord or by a tenant, provided for by California Civil Code Section 1946. (Amended by Ord. No. 155,397, Eff. 8/2/81.)
Qualified Tenant: Any tenant who satisfies any of the following criteria on the date said tenant gives or receives a Notice of Termination: has attained age 62; is handicapped as defined in Section 50072 of the California Health and Safety Code; is disabled as defined Title 42 United States Code 423; or is a person residing with and on whom is legally dependent (as determined for federal income tax purposes) one or more minor children. (Amended by Ord. No. 162,743, Eff. 9/24/87.)
Rental Unit: Each dwelling unit, efficiency dwelling unit, guest room, and suite in the City of Los Angeles, as defined in Section 12.03 of this Code, together with the land and buildings appurtenant thereto, and all housing services, privileges, furnishings and facilities supplied in connection with the use or occupancy thereof, including garage and parking facilities. The term shall not include:
1. A one-family dwelling, except where three or more dwelling units are located on the same lot;
2. Housing accommodations in hotels, motels, inns, tourist homes and boarding and rooming houses, provided that at such time as an accommodation has been occupied by one or more of the same tenants for sixty 60 days or more such accommodation shall become a rental unit subject to the provisions of this section.
3. Housing accommodations in any hospital, convent, monastery, extended medical care facility, asylum, nonprofit home for the aged, fraternity or sorority house, or housing accommodations owned, operated or managed by an institution of higher education, a high school or an elementary school for occupancy by its students.
4. Housing accommodations which a government unit, agency or authority owns, operates, or manages, or which are specifically exempted from municipal rent regulation by state or federal law or administrative regulation.
5. Luxury housing accommodations wherein as of May 31,1978 the rent charged per month was at least $302 for a unit with no bedrooms, $420 for a unit with one bedroom; $588 for a unit with two bedrooms; $756 for a unit with three bedrooms; and $823 for a unit with four bedrooms or more.
6. Mobile home.
Tenant: A tenant, subtenant, lessee, sublessee, or any other person entitled to use or occupancy of a rental unit. Tenant does not include any person who:
(1) is residing in a conversion project and intends to purchase a unit in such project after conversion has been accomplished, or who intends to reside with such a purchaser, or
(2) received actual written notice, prior to entering into a written or oral agreement to become a tenant, that an application to convert the building to a condominium, stock cooperative or community apartment project was on file with the City or had already been approved, whichever the case may be.
C. Relocation Assistance Required. In connection with the conversion of a building into a condominium, community apartment or stock corporative, as those terms are defined in California Government Code and Business and Professions Code, or into a hotel or apartment hotel or to a use permitted in any commercial zone, the landlord shall provide relocation assistance to each tenant in accordance with Subsection D. This subsection shall not apply where a subdivision map application for condominiums, stock cooperative or community apartment purposes was filed for approval with the City prior to the issuance of the original certificate of occupancy for the building. A landlord’s obligation to comply with Subsection D does not exist prior to the time the landlord gives the notice of intention to convert required by Government Code Section 66427.1. (Amended by Ord. No. 155,397, Eff. 8/2/81.)
D. Relocation Assistance. Relocation assistance, where required by the preceding subsection, shall be provided in accordance with the following provisions.
1. Landlord’s Responsibility.
a. The landlord shall:
(1) Make available to each tenant, at no cost, a reasonably complete and current list of vacant and available rental units within a one and one half mile radius of the building being converted, which units are comparable as to size and amenities to the unit occupied by the tenant, and
(2) Make a reasonable and good faith effort to assure that tenants without cars are driven, at no cost, and tenants with cars are assisted, in order to inspect replacement rental units, and
(3) Hire an ambulance or similar vehicle, at no cost to the tenant, and otherwise take reasonable steps to assist any disabled or handicapped tenant with relocation-related activities, and
(4) (Amended by Ord. No. 175,980, Eff. 7/3/04.) Pay a relocation fee of $8,000 to qualified tenants and a $3,200 fee to all other tenants in order to assist the tenants in meeting costs of relocation, higher rents for replacement housing, and any related expenses. For the year beginning July 1, 2005 and all subsequent years, the fee amounts shall be adjusted on an annual basis pursuant to the formula set forth in Section 151.06 D. The adjusted amount shall be rounded to the nearest fifty dollar increment.
This payment shall be made as follows:
(a) The entire fee shall be paid to a tenant who is the only tenant in a rental unit;
(b) If a rental unit is occupied by two or more tenants, any one of whom is a qualified tenant, then each tenant of the unit shall be paid a pro-rata share of the $8,000 fee;
(c) If a rental unit is occupied by two or more tenants, none of whom is a qualified tenant, then each tenant of the unit shall be paid a pro-rata share of the $3,200 fee.
In no event shall the landlord be liable to pay more than $8,000 to all tenants residing in a unit in which at least one qualified tenant lives, or to pay more than $3,200 to all tenants residing in a unit in which no tenant is a qualified tenant. If a tenant is entitled to monetary relocation benefits pursuant to City administrative agency action or any provision of local, state or federal law, then those benefits shall operate as a credit against any fee required to be paid to the tenant under this section.
b. In lieu of the assistance provided for in Paragraph a. above, the landlord may elect to relocate any tenant into a comparable replacement rental unit satisfactory to the tenant and pay all actual costs of relocating the tenant up to a maximum of $8,000 per household. A tenant may not unreasonably withhold approval of a replacement rental unit offered by the landlord. For purposes of this provision only, comparability shall be determined from the following factors: size; price; location; proximity to medical and recreational facilities, parks, community centers, shops, transportation, schools, churches, and synagogues; and amenities. (Amended by Ord. No. 175,980, Eff. 7/3/04.)
2. When Assistance Shall be Provided. (Amended by Ord. No. 155, 397, Eff. 8/2/81.)
a. List of Available Rental Units. The landlord shall perform the acts described in Subparagraph (1) of Paragraph a of Subdivision 1 above for the period beginning on or before the service of the 180 days notice of intention to convert, until the date of termination set forth in the Notice of Termination.
b. Transportation. The landlord shall perform the acts described in Subparagraphs (2) and (3) of Paragraph a of Subdivision 1 above for the period beginning on or before the service of the 180 days notice of intention to convert described in Government Code Section 66427.1(c), until the date of termination set forth in the Notice of Termination.
c. Monetary Assistance. The landlord shall perform the acts described in Subparagraph 4 of Paragraph a of Subdivision 1 above within 15 days of service of the Notice of Termination.
d. Replacement Housing. In lieu of the acts described in Paragraph a of Subdivision 1 above, the landlord may perform the acts described in Paragraph b of Subdivision 1 within 15 days of service of the 180 days notice of intention to convert described in Government Code Section 66427.1(c).
E. Civil Remedies. In an action by a landlord to recover possession of a rental unit, a tenant may raise as an affirmative defense the failure of the landlord to comply with Subsection D of this section. In addition, any landlord who fails to provide monetary relocation assistance to a tenant as required by this section shall be liable in a civil action to the tenant to whom such assistance is due for damages in the amount the landlord has failed to pay, together with reasonable attorney fees and costs as determined by the court. (Amended by Ord. No. 155,397, Eff. 8/2/81.)
1. This section, as enacted in Ordinance No. 153,251, shall apply to judicial proceedings to recover possession of a rental unit occupied by a qualified tenant commenced on or after December 15, 1979 and before April 1, 1980.
2. This section, as amended herein, shall apply to judicial proceedings to recover possession of a rental unit occupied by a tenant commenced on or after April 1, 1980.
GOV §66427.1. The legislative body shall not approve a final map for a subdivision to be created from the conversion of residential real property into a condominium project, a community apartment project, or a stock cooperative project unless it finds all of the following:
(a) Each of the tenants of the proposed condominium, community apartment project or stock cooperative project has received, pursuant to Section 66452.9, written notification of intention to convert at least 60 days prior to the filing of a tentative map pursuant to Section 66452. There shall be a further finding that each such tenant, and each person applying for the rental of a unit in such residential real property, has, or will have, received all applicable notices and rights now or hereafter required by this chapter or Chapter 3 (commencing with Section 66451). In addition, a finding shall be made that each tenant has received 10 days' written notification that an application for a public report will be, or has been, submitted to the Department of Real Estate, and that such report will be available on request. The written notices to tenants required by this subdivision shall be deemed satisfied if such notices comply with the legal requirements for service by mail.
(b) Each of the tenants of the proposed condominium, community apartment project, or stock cooperative project has been, or will be, given written notification within 10 days of approval of a final map for the proposed conversion.
(c) Each of the tenants of the proposed condominium, community apartment project, or stock cooperative project has been, or will be, given 180 days' written notice of intention to convert prior to termination of tenancy due to the conversion or proposed conversion. The provisions of this subdivision shall not alter or abridge the rights or obligations of the parties in performance of their covenants, including, but not limited to, the provision of services, payment of rent or the obligations imposed by Sections 1941, 1941.1, and 1941.2 of the Civil Code.
(d) Each of the tenants of the proposed condominium, community apartment project, or stock cooperative project has been, or will be, given notice of an exclusive right to contract for the purchase of his or her respective unit upon the same terms and conditions that such unit will be initially offered to the general public or terms more favorable to the tenant. The right shall run for a period of not less than 90 days from the date of issuance of the subdivision public report pursuant to Section 11018.2 of the Business and Professions Code, unless the tenant gives prior written notice of his or her intention not to exercise the right.
(e) This section shall not diminish, limit or expand, other than as provided herein, the authority of any city, county, or city and county to approve or disapprove condominium projects.
GOV §66451.3. (a) Unless otherwise provided by this division, notice of a hearing held pursuant to this division shall be given pursuant to Sections 65090 and 65091.
(b) If the proposed subdivision is a conversion of residential real property to a condominium project, community apartment project, or stock cooperative project, the notice shall also be given by the local agency by United States mail to each tenant of the subject property, and shall also include notification of the tenant's right to appear and be heard. The requirements of this subdivision may be satisfied by service of the notice in compliance with the requirements for service of legal process by mail.