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Landlords may raise the rent in controlled units 2.9 percent Sept. 1st, according to a city report on the annual general adjustment allowed under the City Charter. Elected leaders will consider whether to place a dollar cap to limit the increase for tenants paying some of the highest rents in the city at a June 14 public hearing.

Each year, landlords are allowed to increase rents by 75 percent of the increase of the Consumer Price Index, which rose 3.8 percent in the Los Angeles, Long Beach, Anaheim area, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The average city CPI went up just 2.4 percent nationwide over the same twelve-month time period ending in March this year.

In June, the board will decide whether to cap rent increases for tenants paying $2,087 or more at $60. Last year, the Board voted unanimously to cap rent increase at just $40, citing extremely high rents in Santa Monica.

The local rental market softened a bit last year, after a sharp increase in rates during the recovery from the 2008 recession. For example, the median rent paid by residents moving into two-bedroom units in 2017 was $1,000 more than the rent paid for a similar unit in 2010, according to the Rent Control Board’s annual report. A two bedroom apartment now costs about $3,000 a month to rent, requiring an annual household income of $110,000 or more to be considered affordable by federal government standards.

Kate Cagle

Senior reporter for the Santa Monica Daily Press