Santa Monica Seismic Retrofit Updates

As you may already know, the Santa Monica City Council approved a stringent seismic retrofit ordinance on March 28th, 2017. While the retrofit of single family homes is voluntary in the city, there are a list of other building types that require seismic retrofitting. While some must be retrofitted as quickly as 2 years upon receiving notice, others have up to 20 years to comply with the ordinance.

Among the building types that have the quickest timeline are…

  1. Unreinforced Masonry  (Completed Retrofit: 2 years)
  2. Concrete Tilt-Up (Completed Retrofit: 3 years)
  3. Soft-Story Buildings (Completed Retrofit: 6 years)

Now that the ordinance has been passed, the issue of how to deal with the costs associated with seismically vulnerable buildings that are subject to rent control has come up. In other cities, such as Los Angeles and San Francisco, you can pass through a percentage of the retrofit cost to tenants. In Los Angeles, property owners can pass through 50% while in San Francisco property owners can pass through 100% of the seismic retrofit costs to tenants- through incremental increases in rent. There are at least 1200 buildings that fall under this ordinance which are subject to rent control- Santa Monica Daily Press reports.

In their meeting on October 12th, 2017, the Santa Monica Rent Control Board will discuss what percentage of the cost should be allowed to be passed through to Santa Monica’s tenants (if any at all).  The Santa Monica Rent Control Board urges all and any concerned parties, whether tenants or property owners, to come out to voice their opinions on this matter.

The meeting will take place at City Hall on Thursday, October 12th at 7:00 pm.

Updates on the issue of rent increases due to seismic retrofitting to follow as they are released following the meeting.




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