The Santa Monica Rent Control Board met on October 12th to discuss the upcoming seismic retrofit ordinance and its impact on rent controlled apartments in the city.
It is not just the tenants that are upset about the potential for a rent increase, but property owners are also upset to have to mandatorily retrofit their buildings. Understandably, this is not a cost that many property owners anticipated having to incur- so it has come as quite a shock to many.
Property owners voiced concern over what they considered to be exorbitant prices to retrofit, with some stating that a retrofit would be financially devastating to them. With nearly 2,000 buildings required to retrofit in Santa Monica, many property owners are concerned about the fast approaching deadlines.
In Thursday’s meeting the Santa Monica Rent Control Board discussed the potential pass through rate in the city. They discussed the pass through rate in Los Angeles, which is 50%, and in San Francisco which allows for 100% of the cost to be passed through to tenants. During the meeting there were many supporters of no pass-through for tenants, stating that they would be overburdened by this increase. Advocates for the tenants have overwhelmingly shown their support at these meetings.
While no decision was made on this issue at Thursday’s meeting, the Rent Control Board resolved to gather more information about the pass through programs that have been implemented in Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Berkeley. Berkeley is of particular interest to Santa Monica because of similarities in city size and strength of rent control regulation.
The seismic retrofit ordinance deadlines in Santa Monica are approaching quickly so a decision must be made. Compared to other cities, Santa Monica’s retrofit ordinance is the most rushed in terms of deadlines.
Updates on this topic to follow as they are provided by the Santa Monica Rent Control Board.