Los Angeles Housing Department FAQ's by Jason

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									Los Angeles Housing Department




FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
                                        PUBLIC COUNTERS
  3550 Wilshire Boulevard, 15th Floor, LA 90010       6640 Van Nuys Boulevard, Van Nuys 91405
  8475 S. Vermont Avenue, 2nd Floor, LA 90044 3415 S. Sepulveda Boulevard #150, LA 90034
                                  690 Knox Street #125, LA 90502


                     HEADQUARTERS: 1200 WEST 7TH STREET, 9TH FLOOR, LA 90017
         INFORMATION HOTLINE: 1-866-557-RENT [7368] OR (213) 808-8888 TDD: (213) 978-3231
                               WWW. LACITY.ORG/ LAHD/
                                                                    TABLE OF CONTENTS
CODE ENFORCEMENT .................................................................................................................................................................3

RENT STABILIZATION ................................................................................................................................................................4

HOUSING DEVELOPMENT________________________________________________________5
HOMEOWNERSHIP.......................................................................................................................................................................5

NEIGHBORHOOD REVITALIZATION .................................................................................................................................6

FAIR HOUSING ..............................................................................................................................................................................6
PREDATORY LENDING ..............................................................................................................................................................6

HOUSING REFERRALS .............................................................................................................................................................. 7

USEFUL TELEPHONE NUMBERS ......................................................................................................................................... 7




                                                                                                                                                                             Page 2
                                                             CODE ENFORCEMENT
How often will my rental unit be inspected?
Currently, units under the Los Angeles Housing Department’s (LAHD) Code Enforcement Program can be inspected every five years, if inspectors can
gain access to the rental units. However, if LAHD receives a call requesting an inspection at (866) 557-RENT [7368], an inspector will schedule an
appointment to inspect your property.

I have rats in my rental unit. Help!
Vermin infestation is handled by the LA County Health Department. Call them at (626) 430-5461.

My hot water isn’t working and the manager hasn’t done anything. Can an inspector come to my rental unit?
Yes, call us at (866) 557-RENT [7368] and an inspector will contact you within 48 hours of your call to schedule an appointment to inspect your unit.

I’m a landlord and would like to pay my annual bill. What are my payment options?
Payments can be mailed to the Billing Section, P.O. Box 17280, Los Angeles, CA 90017-0280, or paid in person at one of LAHD’s public counters.

How much is the annual Code Enforcement Bill?
$27.24 per unit/per year.

I rent a house. Will my home be inspected?
If there are two or more dwelling units on the lot where your house is located, a Housing Inspector will be inspecting your house. If there is only one
dwelling unit on the lot, or if you rent a condominium, your home is not covered by LAHD’s Code Enforcement Program. If you have a housing
complaint, you will need to call the Department of Building & Safety at (888)-LA4-BUILD [524-2845].

I’ve been paying my rent, but my landlord has not been paying the utilities. What can be done?
Call LAHD at (866) 557-RENT [7368] and a Code Inspector will come to your home. The inspector will determine whether your home can be placed
into the Utility Maintenance Program (UMP). Tenants then have the option of paying their rents into an escrow account to maintain the utility
services and ensure that their utilities are not shut off.

What are the “alphabet soup” programs?
There are a number of programs that address slum/substandard properties, which are informally referred to as the “alphabet soup” programs.
Under the Rent Escrow Account Program (REAP) tenants pay their entire rent to the City to be put into an escrow account until citations against the
property are resolved. The Rent Reduction Program (RRP) allows a tenant to get his/her rent reduced by the value of the missing service as
determined by LAHD. Under the Urgent Repair Program (URP), buildings cited with life-threatening conditions must be repaired within 48 hours. And
finally, under the Utility Maintenance Program (UMP), delinquent utility payments by owners can result in a property being placed into REAP. When
your unit is inspected, the inspector will take the steps needed to put your unit/property into one of these “alphabet soup” programs, if necessary.

I live in an unincorporated area of the County of Los Angeles. How do I get a housing code complaint filed?
For code complaints in LA County call (877) 966-CODE [2633]. Other cities within LA County (such as Burbank, Glendale, Inglewood, Beverly Hills, Culver
City, West Hollywood, Santa Monica) have their own code enforcement agencies. Please see the White Pages in your local phone book under City or
County Government Offices for your Department of Building & Safety or Public Works.




                                                                                                                                           Page 3
                                                               RENT STABILIZATION
What is the Rent Stabilization Ordinance (RSO)?
The RSO was passed as an ordinance in 1978 to protect tenants from excessive rent increases, while at the same time, allowing landlords a
reasonable return on their investments.

Is my rental unit covered under the RSO?
You are covered under the RSO if you rent within the City of Los Angeles, the building was constructed before October 1978, and it is an apartment,
condominium, townhome, duplex, a house with two or more dwelling units on the same lot, or a hotel, motel, rooming/boarding house room where
you have stayed for 30 or more consecutive days. Mobile homes or mobile home pads are covered by the RSO if the park was issued a permit to
operate before February 10, 1986.

I live in a condo. Is it covered under the RSO?
Yes, if you rent and the unit meets the conditions stated above. However, the amount of rent the landlord can charge is not controlled, unless you’ve
been a tenant in the same unit since before January 1, 1996.

I rent a house. Is that covered under the RSO?
Only if there are two or more dwelling units on that property and the units were built before October 1978.

What are the registration fees and penalties?
Fees are $14.00 per unit. If paid after February 28, penalties are $14.00 late fee (per unit), in addition to the $14.00 per unit fee. If LAHD notifies the
landlord of non-registration or delinquency, the penalties are $28.00 late fees (per unit), in addition to the $14.00 per unit fee.

Does a landlord pay a registration fee for every unit rented?
No. Only those subject to the RSO. Units exempt from the fee are: those occupied by the landlord, certain units receiving a governmental subsidy
(HUD), certified luxury exempt, or certified substantially renovated.

How can I find out if my rental unit is registered?
Contact LAHD at (866) 557-RENT [7368].

What is the yearly allowable rent increase for units under the RSO?
This percentage is tied to the Consumer Price Index and is calculated every year. To find the current allowable rent increase, call (866) 557-RENT
[7368], or see the applicable bulletin on the LAHD web site: www. lacity.org/lahd.
What if my landlord is raising my rent by more than the percentage currently allowable by the Rent Stabilization Ordinance?
You may file a complaint by calling us at (866) 557-RENT [7368], or visiting our web site at www.lacity.org/lahd.

I live in an apartment covered by the RSO. Can my landlord evict me for any reason he wants?
No. You may only be evicted for one of the reasons allowable under the RSO. And you may not be evicted just so your landlord can raise the rent.
For information about the allowable reasons for eviction, please contact us at (866) 557-RENT [7368] or access the RSO at
http://lacodes.lacity.org. The RSO is Chapter XV of the City of Los Angeles Municipal Code.

I am being evicted from my apartment. Do I receive any relocation assistance?
Relocation assistance is required if your unit is under the RSO and your landlord is evicting you for his/her own occupancy, spouse, parents, children,
or a resident manager. Assistance is also required for major rehabilitation, demolition, and orders from a governmental agency to vacate due to a
violation of the Los Angeles Municipal Code or any other provision of law. Qualified tenants (those 62 years or older, disabled, or who have minor
dependent children) are entitled to $8,200 and all other tenants are entitled to $3,300.

Where do I find out about my rights as a tenant if I don’t live within the City of L. A.?
Please call your City Hall and ask for the department that deals with rental housing issues.


                                                                                                                                                Page 4
                                                         HOUSING DEVELOPMENT
Does LAHD own any housing developments?
No. LAHD works as a lender and does not own or manage rental or ownership property. LAHD provides funding to qualified non-profit and for-profit
entities to develop and maintain affordable housing citywide.

Who owns the Public Housing Projects?
The Housing Authority of the City of Los Angeles (HACLA) owns and manages public housing.

Does LAHD provide housing for homeless persons?
LAHD does provide funds for permanent housing for homeless individuals. Transitional housing is funded through the Los Angeles Homeless
Services Authority (LAHSA).

A 5-year old child has tested positive for lead poisoning in my apartment building. Can LAHD help with mitigating the lead in my
apartment?
Only projects that have already been approved for rehabilitation loans are provided grants under the Lead Hazard Reduction Program to mitigate
lead hazards.

However, on a case-by-case basis, alternative financing may be provided, especially if there is a referral from LA County on the lead poisoning
incident. Call LAHD’s Lead Unit at (213) 808-8933 for an evaluation of eligibility for housing alternatives.

Where can I get other information about Lead Paint and children's health?
Call the LA County Department of Health Services, Childhood Lead Program at: (800) LA-4-LEAD [524-5323].

I’m a 501(c)(3) non-profit housing developer and would like to build affordable housing in Los Angeles. How do I find out about your
development financing programs?
Applications for the funding and development of affordable housing are provided through a Notice of Funding Availability (NOFA). Depending on the
availability of funds, NOFA’s have, in the past, been announced yearly or every two years. Contact the Affordable Housing Trust Fund Unit of the
Major Projects Division at (213) 808-8936.

What services are provided under Housing for Persons with HIV/AIDS (HOPWA)?
LAHD administers this countywide funding program to non-profit agencies that provide needed services to the low income and homeless population
living with HIV/AIDS, through direct and indirect housing assistance and supportive service programs. These services include emergency hotel/motel/
meal vouchers, housing information and referrals, and tenant-based rental assistance. For more information, call (213) 808-8805.


                                                              HOMEOWNERSHIP
I would like to become a homeowner. How can LAHD help me?
LAHD has several homeownership assistance programs. Call the Homeownership Unit at (213) 808-8925 for information regarding           funding
availability and the application process.

How can I find out about the homeownership process?
LAHD cosponsors homebuyer education seminars which are offered year-round. These are free eight-hour, one-day seminars held at Patriotic Hall, in
Downtown LA. For more information, call the Homeownership Unit at (213) 808-8925.




                                                                                                                                          Page 5
                                                                      FAIR HOUSING
What is Fair Housing?*
Fair Housing means that you have the right to choose to live wherever you want, without being stopped by illegal discrimination. Fair housing not
only protects your rights, it enables fair housing organizations and governmental agencies to help you enforce your rights.

*State and Federal Laws prohibit housing discrimination based on: Race, National Origin, Ancestry, Color, Religion, Gender, Age, Sexual Orientation, Familial
Status (children), Marital Status, Ancestry, Mental or Physical Disability (including AIDS or HIV+), Source of Income, and other arbitrary reasons.
What are some examples of housing discrimination?
• Advertising which excludes renters or buyers because they are a member of a protected category listed above, such as “Mature Adults Only.”
• Sexual harassment.
• Different rules for children or limiting children to ground floor units.
• Refusal to sell or rent because of a person’s race, religious practices, national origin, or other protected category.
• Refusal to rent to a person who uses a wheelchair because it would be “inconvenient.”

Whom do I call if I’ve encountered housing discrimination?
Call the Fair Housing & Predatory Lending Hotline toll-free at (800) 477-5977.

                                                                PREDATORY LENDING
What is “Predatory Lending”?
“Predatory Lending” is the phrase used to describe home loan scams, where a lender/contractor uses deception or fraud to take advantage of a
borrower’s lack of understanding about loan terms, combined with unfair terms such as excessive fees and very high interest rates, without regard to
the borrower’s ability to repay the loan. In 2001, LAHD launched the Los Angeles Don’t Borrow Trouble campaign to educate homeowners about the
dangers of predatory lending.

What are the signs of a predatory loan?
• You receive home loan offers on the phone, in the mail, or someone comes to your door.
• A contractor says he can arrange financing for your home repair.
• You are pressured to sign documents immediately.
• You are asked to sign documents with blanks in them.
• You are not told the interest rate, and the fees are not explained.

Who can help me if I entered into a bad loan, or if I want advice on the terms of a home repair loan I am considering?
Call the Fair Housing and Predatory Lending hotline toll-free at (800) 477-5977.

                                                       NEIGHBORHOOD REVITALIZATION
Can I get a loan to repair my house?
LAHD provides low interest home improvement rehabilitation loans to single-family homeowners. Please call LAHD at (213) 808-8802.

I’m a senior citizen and need a window replaced in my house. Can LAHD help me out?
You might be able to qualify under the Handyworker Program, which is administered by LAHD. Handyworker provides free minor home repairs to
low-income seniors, aged 62 and older, homeowners with disabilities, or homeowners who have relatives with disabilities living with them. Call the
Handyworker Program at (213) 808-8803.

What can I do about a vacant property on my block where there’s been a lot of gang activity?
This is considered a “nuisance condition”. The Citywide Nuisance Abatement Program (CNAP), run by the Office of the City Attorney, brings these prop-
erties back into productive use. The public can help identify problem properties by calling the City Attorney’s Neighborhood Prosecutor Program. Call
1-877-LA-CARES [522-2737].


                                                                                                                                                     Page 6
                                                            HOUSING REFERRALS
Can you put me on the list for Section 8 Housing?
The Housing Authority of the City of Los Angeles administers Section 8 housing. Call their hotline at (213) 252-6199.

How can I find out what the zoning is on a vacant lot across from my house?
Call the Department of Building and Safety at 888-LA-4-BUILD [524-2845].

My landlord has not returned my security deposit. What can I do?
The laws governing the return of security deposits are enforced by the State of California, not the City. Please contact the Consumer Affairs Depart-
ment at (213) 974-1452.

My landlord did some work in my rental unit and some of my personal property was damaged. How do I get restitution for my damaged
belongings?
Restitution or damages can only be granted by a judge. You would have to sue your landlord in Civil Court.



                                                      USEFUL TELEPHONE NUMBERS
Building & Safety
Single family, condo inspections and zoning
1-888-LA-4-BUILD [524-2843]

Planning Department
Conditional uses, variances, density bonus
(213) 482-7077

Housing Authority of the City of LA (HACLA)
Section 8
(213) 252-6199

Consumer Affairs
State Housing Law
(213) 974-1452

LA Homeless Services Authority (LAHSA)
Homeless services referrals
(213) 683-3333

Department on Disability
Services for persons with disabilities
(213) 485-6334 Voice
(213) 485-6655 TTY

INFOLINE (LA County)
Health and human service referrals
1-800-339-6993



                                                                                                                                           Page 7
 Los Angeles Housing Department

                                             PUBLIC COUNTERS
       3550 Wilshire Boulevard, 15th Floor, LA 90010     6640 Van Nuys Boulevard, Van Nuys 91405
       8475 S. Vermont Avenue, 2nd Floor, LA 90044      3415 S. Sepulveda Boulevard #150, LA 90034

                                      690 Knox Street #125, LA 90502




            HEADQUARTERS: 1200 WEST 7TH STREET, 9TH FLOOR, LA 90017

INFORMATION HOTLINE: 1-866-557-RENT [7368] OR (213) 808-8888 TDD: (213) 978-3231


                                 WWW.LACITY.ORG/LAHD/

								
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