Hearing Set for Proposed Rent Increase

A new formula has city staffers proposing an increase of 1.54 percent for rent controlled units in Santa Monica. The public may weigh in 7 p.m. June 14.

A hearing was set this week for the public to weigh in on a proposed 1.54 percent rent increase at rent controlled units in Santa Monica.

Each year the city's Rent Control Board approves an increase to cover the costs a landlord pays to maintain the property, such as property taxes, utilities and business license fees. Last year, the board bumped the costs of rents by 3.2 percent.

The increase will take affect in September, and in most cases, will be borne by tenants. This year's public hearing will be held 7 p.m. June 14 in the City Council's chambers in , at 1685 Main St Main Street.

The proposal to raise rents by 1.54 percent is is based on the median cost of a rent-controlled apartment in Santa Monica, including those leased at market rates. As of April 2, the median was $1,395 per month.

Staffers have previously based their assessment on the average cost of rent when Santa Monica's rent control law took effect in 1979—which was $300—plus the average of annual rent increases over the past 30 years. Last year, that came to to $829.

"Staff believes [the new method] provides a more accurate analysis of rent-level reality in Santa Monica as of May 2012," Administrator Tracy Condon wrote in a memo to the Rent Control Board.

To ensure the new base number of $1,395 wouldn't result in an inflated rent increase, staffers weighted un-fixed costs for which they had no actual data, like self-labor and management, to be proportional to last year's base of $829.34.

To review a list of annual general adjustments authorized by the board since 1979, click here.

SantaMonicaNative May 13, 2012 at 11:44 PM
1.54? what is that supposed to pay for? Perhaps the increase in the water and trash which went about 5% or the gas bill which has gone up at least that much. Or maybe the repairs, or the co2 monitor? Old style Landlords just can make it in this city, Soon they will either remove the Units from the market or sell to fhe next mega-owner that approaches them. What i would give to get the median rent! What we have is a situation where the renters who rent a unit when it is voluntarily vacated feel ripped off when they talk to their Rent Controlled neighbors and Landlords who feel victimized by tenants who live high in rent controlled apartments. No one wins, no one's happy, there has to be a better way


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