ANSWERS: 1
  • To find out if your house is rent controlled, you may need to do some checking. Rent control is a local issue, and therefore the rules are different depending on the city you live in. Your city may not have a rent-control ordinance at all.

    Ask Your Landlord

    If you have a good relationship with your landlord, you can just ask if your house is rent controlled. Landlords usually know about the ordinances that affect their property this way. If you think your landlord is misinformed or being evasive, you can find out several other ways.

    Ask Neighbors

    If your neighbor lives in a rent-controlled house, it is likely that you do to. There are exceptions to this though, so be prepared to do further research.

    Check Rental Agreement

    Some rent-control ordinances require that the terms of the rent control be included in the lease. If you do not have a copy of your lease, request a copy from your landlord.

    Check State and Local Governments

    Rent-control ordinances are a local issue. Your state's website may be able to refer you to your municipal site. Or try searching the name of your city and the words "rent control," then get ready to read the fine print. In Los Angeles, for example, rent control applies to properties with more than one unit but not a single-family house.

    Rent Increases

    This sounds obvious, but in most rent-control ordinances, there are very clear rules about when and how much a landlord can raise your rent. If you get an annual letter and your rent increases are always under 5 percent, you may live in a rent-controlled house.

    Unusual Rent Amount

    Because rent-control increases typically are based on percentages, your rent may be $600 when you move in and then $618 the year after that. Then it could go to $636.54. If your rent is not a round number, it is likely that your landlord is raising your rent a specific amount by the maximum allowed percentage.

    Source:

    "Landlord's Law Book"; David Wayne Brown; 1997.

    Los Angeles Housing Department

    Resource:

    U.S. Department Of Housing and Urban Development: Tenant Rights

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