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Rent stabilization newsletter – January 2024

Posted on January 31, 2024


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Rent Stabilization Program Update

Notice of Pass-Through Fee to Tenant

The City of Santa Ana Rent Stabilization and Just Cause Eviction Ordinance (“Ordinance”) is a local law that limits rent increases above the allowable limit within a 12-month period for certain residential rental units and mobilehome spaces in the City. The Ordinance also provides “just cause” eviction protections for most tenants that continuously and lawfully occupy a residential real property or mobilehome space for 30 days. The information provided is intended to inform Tenants of the Rental Registry Pass-Through Fee that may be applied by a Landlord.

As a result of the Ordinance adopted by the Santa Ana City Council, the City has implemented a Rental Registry that is used to compile key data on rent-stabilized rental units, track allowable rent increases, and monitor compliance with the Ordinance. The City has also created a dedicated Rent Stabilization Division within the Community Development Agency responsible for maintaining the Rental Registry, answering questions from Tenants and Landlords about their rights and responsibilities, connecting Tenants and Landlords with local resources, conducting outreach and education to the community, and administering and furthering the objectives of the Ordinance. The Rental Registry Fee supports the Rental Registry and dedicated staff that will provide the City of Santa Ana and its residents the transparency required to monitor lawful rent levels and evictions. Additionally, the Rental Registry Fee is collected to cover 100% of the program costs, including the processing of petitions for Tenants and Landlords, voluntary mediation services, a process for hearings and appeals, and the Rental Housing Board.

In accordance with the Ordinance:

Initial Registration.

A Landlord has completed the Initial Registration process under Section 8-3160 of the Ordinance, which includes the following actions:

1) Completely and accurately provide a Registration Form; and,

2) Paid all fees owed to the City concerning the Rental Unit including Registration Fees imposed under the Ordinance.

Pass-Through to Tenants.

After timely payment of the Rental Registry Fee, a Landlord may pass through up to fifty percent (50%) of the Fee to Tenants of the applicable Rental Unit, provided that all of the following apply:

1) The pass-through fee must be collected from the Tenant in twelve (12) equal monthly installments;

2) The pass-through fee shall not be considered part of the Rent in calculating any Rent Increase; and,

3) The Landlord has paid the Rental Registry Fee on time and has not become delinquent.

Rental Registry Fee – Frequently Asked Questions

What is the Rental Registry Fee?

Landlords are required to pay an annual program fee to the City of Santa Ana to cover the costs to implement, administer, monitor, support, and enforce the Rent Stabilization and Just Cause Eviction Ordinance. The Rental Registry Fee for the Fiscal Year 2023-24 is $100 per unit. Please refer to the Santa Ana Miscellaneous Fees Schedule for more information on Rental Registry fees.

Can Landlords pass-through the Rental Registry Fee?

Landlords may pass through 50% of the Rental Registry Fee to a Tenant in 12 equal installments after timely payment of the fee. For the Fiscal Year 2023-24, the pass-through fee is not to exceed $4.16 per month. Passing through 50% of the fee will not be considered rent for purposes of calculating a rent increase.

When must a Landlord pay the Rental Registry Fee?

For the Fiscal Year 2023-24, timely payment of the fee is defined as payment made by February 29, 2024. If a Landlord fails to pay the fee on time and becomes delinquent, neither the fee nor any penalties, if applicable, can be passed through to the Tenant.

How can a Tenant confirm that a Landlord has paid the Rental Registry Fee?

Upon payment of the Rental Registry Fee, a Landlord will receive a Payment Receipt which includes transaction details such as the payment date and total amount paid. A Landlord may provide this Payment Receipt as proof of timely payment upon any request by a Tenant.

Who can I contact for questions about the Rental Registry Fee?

If you have any questions about the Rental Registry Fee, a dedicated e-mail address and Rent Stabilization Helpline are available with staff standing by to assist you. Please e-mail us at rso@santa-ana.org or call (714) 667-2209 to speak with one of our representatives.

Rental Housing Board

The Rent Stabilization and Just Cause Eviction Ordinance (“Ordinance”) provides for the administration and enforcement of renter protections for Santa Ana renters by establishing a Rental Housing Board.

Under Section 8-3180 of the Ordinance, the Rental Housing Board (“Board”) shall consist of seven (7) Board Members. Each City Councilmember shall appoint one (1) Board Member, to be approved by the City Council, in an equitable order based upon a random lottery process. The Board shall be comprised of:

  1. Three (3) Tenants, including at least one (1) Mobilehome Tenant;
  2. Two (2) Landlords; and
  3. Two (2) at-large Members with no financial interest in and no ownership of income-generating rental housing. (For example, an owner of a single-family dwelling that lives in that dwelling.)

Applications are currently being accepted and are located on the City Clerk’s Office website at www.santa-ana.org/rental-housing-board. If you or someone you know may be interested in serving on the Rental Housing Board, we encourage you to apply.

Serving our Residents

City staff serves the public on a daily basis by responding to telephone and email inquiries about the Rent Stabilization and Just Cause Eviction Ordinance and general landlord/tenant issues. Persons contacting the City include landlords, tenants, real estate brokers, prospective tenants and prospective property owners. The most common topics of concern are evictions, allowable rent increases, and the City’s Rental Registry.

Public Inquiries

January 2023 to December 2023

Know Your Rights

If you believe the owner or property manager for your rental unit or mobilehome may not be in compliance with the Ordinance, or you need assistance interpreting the Ordinance, please reach out to one of the City’s community partners:

Fair Housing Council of Orange County

www.fairhousingoc.org

info@fairhousingoc.org

2021 E. 4th Street, Suite 122

Santa Ana, CA 92705

Phone: 714-569-0823 Option 4

Public Law Center

www.publiclawcenter.org

info@publiclawcenter.org

601 Civic Center Drive West

Santa Ana, CA 92701

Phone: 714-541-1010 x 303

Community Legal Aid SoCal

www.communitylegalsocal.org

2101 North Tustin Avenue

Santa Ana, CA 92705

Phone: 714-571-5200

Latino Health Access

www.latinohealthaccess.org

450 W 4th Street

Santa Ana, CA 92701

Phone: 714-542-7792

Please be advised, the City does not recommend or endorse any particular law firm or agency, but leaves it up to tenants to determine their best course of action and chosen representation, if necessary.

Contact Us:

20 Civic Center Plaza

Santa Ana, CA 92702

Email: rso@santa-ana.org

Tel: (714) 667-2209

Fax: (714) 547-5411

Quick Links:

Our Website

Read the Ordinance

Frequently Asked Questions

If you have any difficulty connecting with the links in this Newsletter, enter the following website address into an internet browser to explore the City’s website – www.santa-ana.org/renter-protections

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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