WeHo caps rent increase at 3 percent

West Hollywood City Council moved forward with a 3 percent cap on annual general adjustment (AGA) on rent increases instead of 6 percent at their meeting Monday night.

The rent increase freeze enacted during the pandemic will end March 1, 2023, after almost three years.

“This represents the higher end of the AGA historically, will likely provide landlords with sufficient annual increases on existing tenancies to enjoy a just and reasonable return, and in conjunction with the end of the rent freeze, ensure that tenants are not hit with a historically unprecedented rent increase,” city staff wrote. “Other California jurisdictions have set similar annual adjustment caps. Importantly, any landlord who believes they are not receiving a just and reasonable return are still able to file a rent adjustment application.”

Esther Baum, an elderly 32-year resident of West Hollywood who spent over 28 years on the Senior Advisory Board, struggled to the podium on a walker and spoke emphatically on behalf of renters.

“I want to remind all of us that West Hollywood was established as a city because of rent being out of line. Six percent increase in rent for seniors is unacceptable. Ninety percent of them would be on the street homeless because they could not pay that large increase. I think having three percent as a maximum is fair,” she said.

Mary Grover, whose family owns four rental units in West Hollywood, spoke on behalf of landlords during public comment. Grover is also elderly and uses a cane.

“We make very little return on this property and we put a lot into it. My brother is 80 years old. I’m no spring chicken. And we were hoping we could use this money for our retirement years, but we can’t. (My family) wouldn’t have stayed here 116 years if we didn’t love the community and want to grow with it. We love it so much that we’d like to make a return on our investment too and it’s an investment that we made 116 years ago and so we hope you look at it from the point of view of people that aren’t multimillionaires.”

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About Brandon Garcia
Brandon Garcia is editor of WEHOville. He oversees the website's editorial direction and creates original content such as news reports, photo and video features, digital art work and advertisements. A native of the Rio Grande Valley in Texas, he now lives in WeHo and is a proud member of the LGBTQIA+ community. @brandoninthebubble on Instagram

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Joe Bologna
Joe Bologna
25 days ago

I’m just here to comment on her Keith Haring sweatshirt. Badass!

gdaddy
gdaddy
1 month ago

Finally a decision I agree with the city council on.

Michael G Labarbera
Michael G Labarbera
1 month ago

For nearly 30 plus years the average rent increase in West Hollywood has almost never gone above 3%. Maybe twice in all that time. With each vacancy landlords can up the rent to market value. I am not aware of any renter whose salary, social security or retirement investments are increasing at 6% annually. A 3% cap is giving landlords almost exactly what they’ve already been getting for decades. Most of the renters were here LONG before the area became over gentrified and catered only to the rich. The wealthy can live ANYWHERE. Lower income people are NOT TRASH for… Read more »

Peter B
Peter B
1 month ago

Be better informed. Social Security next year increases 8.7% in line with current inflation. That means most property maintenance will be up, maybe substantially. Therefore your debate should be, who pays for the increased costs to maintain your home? Or maybe you prefer to live in a place that slowly falls into disrepair that matches the rent you want to pay?

Last edited 1 month ago by Peter B
Stop Whining!
Stop Whining!
1 month ago
Reply to  Peter B

A very poor illustration. Perhaps folks could learn to engage in thrifty living, respecting the environment, our resources and recognizing aspects of value rather than whining,

Kyle
Kyle
1 month ago
Reply to  Peter B

A) This is the first time in a very long time soc security has increased that much. B) The vast majority of Americans get no more than 3% cost of living increases even in inflationary times. C) Most landlords take into consideration upkeep when setting rent prices D). If you bought your property over 5 years ago, you have made a HUGE profit already plus tax write offs for maintenance

08MELLIE
08MELLIE
1 month ago

Rent control hurts the renter. Follow the link for more info:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oJvTTGOHFkU

richard
richard
1 month ago
Reply to  08MELLIE

Crazy logic…sounds like propaganda to me.

08MELLIE
08MELLIE
1 month ago
Reply to  richard

No. Just logic. Do you own a business? Ever run one? You destroy capitalism, then go and grow life in communist Russia. Did you actually watch the video? G_d does not make new dirt. This is what we have and to try to thwart development with all of these constrictions, nothing will get better. West Hollywood cannot be all things to all people. This is a ridiculous notion. My heart is not cold to those whom cannot afford to live but supporting those that cannot live here should not be at the expense of those who have planned there lives,… Read more »

Kyle
Kyle
1 month ago
Reply to  08MELLIE

A capitalist society does not mean price gouging people- especially forcing long time senior citizen residents to move due to 6% increases. I suspect you are the type of person who supports Big Pharma when they raise the price of a drug 350% in one year. I’ve lived in W. Hollywood for 25 yrs and don’t want it to become another Bev Hills. W. Hwd has historically been a mix of people from all economic backgrounds including Russian Jews who live on the east side of WeHo. I own a condo now but dealt w/ landlords who sound like you-… Read more »

Where is Steve Martin?
Where is Steve Martin?
1 month ago

So where is Steve Martin’s voice on this important issue?

Steve Martin
Steve Martin
1 month ago

I had spoken on this issue a few weeks ago; watch the City Council meetings.

Sarcastic Steve
Sarcastic Steve
1 month ago
Reply to  Steve Martin

You are directing your own campaign and would be helpful making your ideas known along multiple avenues. Thanks, but no thanks for the invariable sarcastic comment.

Gimmeabreak
Gimmeabreak
1 month ago

Why are you asking only about Steve Martin when there are several other candidates who should chime in?

Gimmeabreak
Gimmeabreak
1 month ago

I lived in Van Nuys for 15 years because I couldn’t afford West Hollywood, where I really wanted to live. If now you can’t afford West Hollywood because of reasonable rent increases, move to Van Nuys! If a 3% increase is acceptable, why is another 3% life changing? Lots of people buy an apartment building when they are young as their way of preparing for retirement many years later. So they are not greedy and wealthy. They worked hard, saved, and planned well, but now they are disparaged by people who did not plan for their own future and are… Read more »

WehoQueen
WehoQueen
1 month ago
Reply to  Gimmeabreak

Rent control is unsustainable over time. Let’s not forget faux beloved supposedly pro-renter John Heilman used the supposedly dreaded Ellis Act to evict renters from Tara. And he is running yet again for City Council. Uniformed voters get what they deserve. You keep reelecting the same clowns decade after decade.

richard
richard
1 month ago
Reply to  WehoQueen

That’s a myth…Mr.Crinch.

Havenhurst
Havenhurst
1 month ago

(At the risk of feeding the trolls who get their rocks off by sh*%posting…) For all of you complaining about the “communists” and “freeloaders” who are encouraging West Hollywood down the path to being a “slum,” I would invite you to take a deep breath and consider the fact that not everyone in West Hollywood is a wealthy limousine liberal with a semi-truck full of disposable income backing up to unload more cash every month, Believe it or not, some of us are just barely getting by, thankful that the city’s rent control laws allow us to keep a roof… Read more »

WehoQueen
WehoQueen
1 month ago
Reply to  Havenhurst

You left out one little detail: you can’t afford to live here, so you beg for handouts from the City and from more successful people who can afford to live here. It’s not a crime being less wealthy than others, but it’s a moral crime to insist they subsidize where you have decided you want to live. You are exactly the kind of person ruining the city for the rest of us who do pay our bills.

Tom
Tom
1 month ago
Reply to  WehoQueen

You left out a little detail, WehoQueen. Most of these owners have their buildings under capped Prop 13 taxes which is subsidizing a private real estate investment at the sxpense of taxpayers. You want a level playing field then repeal Prop 13 for commercial property.

WehoQueen
WehoQueen
1 month ago
Reply to  Tom

You are way off. Prop 13 is totally level, it’s was open to anyone, no restrictions. If you didn’t have foresight and didn’t buy property, I don’t need to bail you out. Putting a miniscule cap on a private business is very different. And Prop 13 was like 40 or 50 years ago? Seriously, you’re gonna bring that up? Wow. A new low.

Tom
Tom
1 month ago
Reply to  WehoQueen

Prop 13 is a “miniscule” cap on the already wealthy but capping rents at 3% is communism? SO if you didn’t have the foresight to be born early and rich you should just, what, die? Wow- not a new low for you, just the same old one.

richard
richard
1 month ago
Reply to  WehoQueen

It’s the likes of people like you WehoQueen that ruin our great city.

WehoQueen
WehoQueen
1 month ago
Reply to  richard

Oh, you mean the ones who actually pay the bills for the city, and bring money to the city are ruining it, rather than the freeloading folks who don’t pay their fair share? Did I get that right?

Kyle
Kyle
1 month ago
Reply to  WehoQueen

The ones bringing $$ into the city are 22 year olds from West Covina who go to the bars on S.M. Blvd.

Kyle
Kyle
1 month ago
Reply to  WehoQueen

Asking for a 3% rental increase cap is hardly begging for handouts. Give me a break. There are a lot of apartment buildings in weHo that were built & bought in the 1970s & have never been kept up. They look like hell on the outside & inside. From the 1970s until 2002, West Hwd was significantly cheaper than cities like NY, Boston, DC, & San Fran. If you bought your property back then & have a low mortgage plus the tax breaks, you are making SIGNIFICANTLY more in rent than your mortgage. Spare me. As it is, younger people… Read more »

WehoQueen
WehoQueen
1 month ago
Reply to  Kyle

The buildings aren’t kept up cause landlords can’t make the money they should make. I want the city to be only wealthy successful people, rather than delusional freeloaders.

Observer
Observer
27 days ago
Reply to  WehoQueen

Then move to Beverly Hills.

Carrie
Carrie
27 days ago
Reply to  WehoQueen

You’re disgusting. What you “want” is of no interest to anyone. These folks are speaking as people who have lived here for decades, starting when it was affordable. We PAY OUR BILLS just like you. WE are successful, too, just not wealthy. Freeloading – HA and that’s especially LOL if you are a business owner. Such a burden that you have to share a community with the unwashed masses. I don’t think you belong here.

Emiliano
Emiliano
1 month ago

Every economist agrees rent control doesn’t work. Look what’s happened in Los Angeles.

If you want to stay longer than 5 years, you need to buy a condo.

WeHoRenter
WeHoRenter
1 month ago
Reply to  Emiliano

For Curiosity, how does one afford a condo here? Where is this magical Condo? I’ll buy one with a mortgage/insurance payment that matches or is close to my current rent. I’ll be waiting for the preponderance of these condos for sale. Please advise where I can find this unicorn.

Ham
Ham
1 month ago
Reply to  WeHoRenter

People seems to be finding them every day. Use Zillow or Trulia.

Wehorenter
Wehorenter
1 month ago
Reply to  Ham

Cheapest is $520k. That’s with insurance, per Zillow, $3600 estimated payment for a 1 bedroom. My rent is $2000 per month so a difference of $1600. Not counting the down payment. So quit talking out your @$$.

Larry Block
Admin
1 month ago
Reply to  Wehorenter

Hi wehorenter, not sure your figures are accurate. your payment on the home includes principal. And eventually the loan is paid off and there is no more ‘rent’, in addition the mortgage interest is tax deductable, which closes the gap of out of pocket monthly expenses,– in addition, the home price appreciates, you can add in 3-5% appreciation per year and it is cheaper to own then rent.

Ham
Ham
1 month ago
Reply to  Wehorenter

Buy it. That’s cheap. Better to have some equity than flush it down the toilet each month.

Kyle
Kyle
1 month ago
Reply to  Ham

With a 6% mortgage rate? Don’t think so. The only ones buying know are people over 40 w/ lots of cash to burn – not the younger generation who bring vitality, creativity & new ideas. Every comment from you bashes everything that has made this city prosper since the 1980s. I think you’d be better off living in a retirement village in Rancho Cucamonga. Better yet, Grapevine, Texas is probably your speed.

Ham
Ham
1 month ago
Reply to  Kyle

If you’re not going to buy a home……don’t complain about renting.

Kyle
Kyle
1 month ago
Reply to  Ham

It’s not that black & white, foolio. Long time renters in WeHo, particularly seniors, shouldn’t be faced with a 6% or larger increase. I’m sure you support big Pharma when they jack up a drugs piece 350% despite the drug having been in existence 30 yrs with no improvement . Same applies – poorly maintained apartment buildings, not properly maintained and yet want sky high rent. Sorry, Ham, you are a Johnny come lately to WeHo. Many of us have lived here for 30 years as r, both renters & now homeowners. Renters & young people have always been the… Read more »

Gimmeabreak
Gimmeabreak
1 month ago
Reply to  WeHoRenter

I went through two home purchases over fifteen years in Van Nuys to build enough equity to buy a condo in WeHo.

backrooms game
1 month ago

Then, when some tenants move out because they don’t want to live in a slum like many weho buildings, the landlord has an incentive to leave the unit empty rather than rent it to a complaining, freeloading Communist who wants the government to control housing prices.

Tom Smart
Tom Smart
1 month ago

You’ve got money for retirement Mary Grover. Sell those buildings and you will have plenty.

radii
radii
1 month ago

The rich buying up properties to park their money in real estate and especially AirBnB have destroyed the housing market the world over – the rich need to be heavily taxed on any home after their 1st home and AirBnB needs to be banned in cities. Rents have become insane and it’s because of the rich and AirBnB. Just look at that giant property at Fountain and Sweetzer. That right-wing guy who owns it was busted for several housing crimes and had to leave it empty for 10 years but he’s so rich it didn’t hurt him. Now he’s fixing… Read more »

WehoQueen
WehoQueen
1 month ago
Reply to  radii

Actually, AirBnB has simply pushed out poor people who have no business living in desirable expensive areas of cities, out to the more affordable suburbs where they belong, in favor of rich tourists renting apartments in the city centers. It’s not a bad thing. Landlords pay lots of taxes, and it incentivizes them to keep the apartments beautiful and desirable. It’s called free enterprise.

JeffP
JeffP
1 month ago
Reply to  WehoQueen

No, it’s called gentrification… It’s destroying a 48 bed homeless transitional shelter to build the West Hollywood Gateway. Supposedly to create revenue to fund another “better” shelter elsewhere in the city and then reneging on that promise. And then complaining when there is a count of 52 people homeless in the city and saying there is no resources to provide for them. This city is built on broken promises just to line developers pockets so that they can build more and more 50 million dollar sky-bourne penthouses that only the elite can afford.

Last edited 1 month ago by JeffP
Ham
Ham
1 month ago
Reply to  JeffP

Gentrification is just another way of saying that capital is coming in. That’s a good thing.

JeffP
JeffP
1 month ago
Reply to  Ham

It’s good for those WITH money, not those without it. And WeHo chose to protect those without it, if you don’t like that, you are welcome to leave and go where your money speaks louder than the voters.

Ham
Ham
1 month ago
Reply to  JeffP

It’s never good…..to be without money. Best to work hard and save money.

Thousands of immigrants figure out how to buy a property every year…..and they came here with nothing.

Kyle
Kyle
1 month ago
Reply to  Ham

There goes Ms. Ham & his arrogant words of bitter wisdom. West Hollywood Has become what it is today thanks to creative artists & gay people – not venture capitalists or investment bankers. Go read one of Richard Floridas books on urban planning. Neighborhoods such as Chelsea in NY or the South End in Boston or the Castro were all transformed from down on its luck neighborhoods to desirable ones due to artists & gay people moving in. If West Hollywood was 100% single family , owner occupied homes and strictly wealthy residents, the city would be sterile & bland.… Read more »

Honor System
Honor System
1 month ago
Reply to  radii

Free market capitalism works until the socialist/ communist people get involved. No one is guaranteed anything. Get a job and work and save. Oh wait. This place taxes everyone and everything to the point were hard work doesn’t pay off. Cede your power to government and then the government runs your life. Witness DCs policies on money and energy. Hyperinflation and gas prices that are out of sight. Compare the years from 2017-2019 with the last two years. Stop complaining and open your eyes to what reality looks like.

Gimmeabreak
Gimmeabreak
1 month ago
Reply to  radii

It’s against the law to use an unoccupied residence as an airbnb. Airbnb is permissible only if the host is living in the home in which he has guests.

Ham
Ham
1 month ago
Reply to  Gimmeabreak

That’s a little creepy. Who would do that?????

Stevie
Stevie
1 month ago

And this is why so many rental properties in West Hollywood look like they belong in South Central LA.

WehoQueen
WehoQueen
1 month ago
Reply to  Stevie

Yes, the incentive the City gives landlords, is to let the buildings go into disrepair. Then when some tenants move out cause they don’t want to live in a slum like many weho buildings, the incentive for the landlord is to leave the unit vacant, rather than rent to some complaining freeloading Communist type who wants the state to control housing prices. And you gotta love how many of these freeloaders parade around like they are compassionate loving people. With the money they save on city-controlled rent prices, they go out and buy big screen t.v.s, fancy cars, and $18… Read more »

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