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LA Rent Registry Blog

by Megan Milne, Associate, Hart Kienle Pentecost

On October 1, 2021, the Los Angeles County Department of Consumer and Business Affairs (DCBA) launched the Los Angeles County Rent Registry as part of the County’s Rent Stabilization and Tenant Protections Ordinance (RSTPO) and the Mobilehome Rent Stabilization and Mobilehome Owner Protections Ordinance (MRSMOPO). The Rent Registry is an online service portal that allows landlords and mobilehome park owners who rent units or spaces located in the unincorporated Los Angeles County to register rental properties, update unit information, and pay annual registration fees.

There are several steps to the registration process, which can be found in the Rent Registry User Guide on the Los Angeles County Consumer and Business Affairs website. An overview of the steps involves reviewing the registry checklist, accessing the rent registry, adding a property, registering the property, and paying the required registration fees.

For the registry checklist, the registrant will need an active email account, their property’s assessor parcel number, and the property’s identification number.

To access the rent registry, the registrant needs to visit the Los Angeles County Rent Registry website at www.rentregistry.dcba.lacounty.gov and click the landlord icon option. Returning users will enter their login information while first-time users will create an account. Upon logging in, the user will be directed to their dashboard. Successfully entered properties will appear in the dashboard. First-time users will have an empty dashboard.

To add a property, the user will click on the top label marked as “My Properties” and then click “Add Property.” A pop-up will appear asking the user to input the Accessor’s Parcel Number (APN) and PIN associated with the rental property. Once all information is entered, the user will click “submit.”

To register a property, the dashboard will identify properties that are ready for registration. If ready, the APN status will say “Registration Open” and the user can click “Open” to continue. Therein, the user can update primary owner and property manager information by clicking “Click Here to Add” and “Add Contact.” The following contact types are required: Owner Contact Information and Property Manager Contact Information. Both of these contacts must be added to the APN to submit Exemptions, Amendments, and Registrations. On the “Property Details” page, the user will click the “Add Unit” button and enter the required information.

Registrants can consider if the APN may qualify for an exemption before submitting the registration. Registrants should be advised that unit exemptions cannot be requested after registration is completed and need to be requested annually during registration. If a registrant has multiple units, then an exemption submission must be submitted for each unit that the registrant believes is not subject to the registration fee for the registration period year. Appropriate documentation will also need to be provided for consideration of the Exemption request.

A few qualifying exemptions are 1) when a unit is vacant and will remain vacant during the upcoming fiscal year; 2) a unit that is rented or leased to a transient guest(s) for 30 consecutive days or less; and 3) a unit that has a commercial use and is not used as a residential rental unit. A full list of properties that are subject to the rent registry requirements can be found at www.dcba.lacounty.gov/rentregistry/ and possible unit/property exemptions can be found in the Los Angeles RSTPO and MRSMOPO.

To apply for an exemption, the registrant will click the “Actions” button next to the applicable unit where the user can “Apply for Exemption.” Thereafter, the registrant will identify the reason for the exemption, upload any documentation providing support of the exemption, agree to the declaration statement, and provide the Submitter’s information. During the review, a Unit Exemption case will be created and the registrant will continue to be able to view the case status, provide additional documentation, and communicate with the staff.

An exemption may be beneficial for property owners looking to avoid the registration fees for each rental unit.

The registrant will then review and submit all information, thereby completing the registration process.

Lastly, the registrant will pay the registration fees. Fees are $90.00 per fully covered rental unit, $30.00 per partially covered rental unit, and $90.00 per mobilehome space. Once registration is approved, the APN status will change to “Payment Pending.” On the shopping cart page, the registrant will see all properties that are ready for payment. Once payment is entered, the registrant can click “return” where the they will be redirected to the dashboard, where the shopping card icon will disappear if all properties have been paid for.

Registration is deemed complete when all pertinent information has been submitted and fees have been paid.

Rental property owners should be advised that failure to register and pay the annual registration fee by the due date will prohibit owners from increasing rent or pass-through costs to their renters.

While a majority of rental property owners need to be and are compliant, their compliance does not translate to support of the registry. Some rental property owners have voiced their opinions on the registry and impact on them. For one rental property owner, they questioned the purpose of and seemingly high cost of the program, and also questioned the county’s motivation in acquiring information regarding the owner’s residents and amenities. Another county resident believes that because of these registration costs, the registry would cause rents to go up, thereby disadvantaging renters.

In July 2021, the county sought to account for the widespread financial impact of COVID-19 by adjusting the pricing and due dates of the registration fees. For properties registered by January 1, 2022, rental registration fees were waived. After that date, registration fees continued, with late fees getting assessed for properties registered after the annual deadline of September 30th.

The county’s institution of the rent registry aimed to enhance certain functions for property owners and tenants, including the ability to submit applications for rent adjustments, property owner requests for capital improvement and primary renovation pass-throughs, and notifications of termination of tenancy directly to DCBA. Presiding DCBA Director in 2021 claimed the registry assists the County in ensuring the “availability of quality housing for LA county residents, make it easier for property owners and landlords register their rental properties and meet their responsibilities, increase transparency, and improve fairness in the LA county rental market.”

Mobilehome park owners and landlords are encouraged to stay up-to-date with county

changes and implementations that affect their operations, such as the LA rent registry.