The Los Angeles City Council on Tuesday is set to consider temporarily lowering the cap on rent increases in its rent control law when the COVID-19 rent freeze expires.   

A proposal to tighten the rent control ordinance comes after the council’s housing committee decided against extending the pandemic-era rent freeze through June. The freeze has barred any increases in rent on rent-controlled housing since March 2020. Although the committee rejected the extension, Councilman Hugo Soto-Martinez and Councilwoman Eunisses Hernandez continue to advocate for it and may push the issue Tuesday.

If the freeze ends as planned on Feb. 1, 2024, the proposal now before the council would cap rent increases at 4% through June 2024. The California Apartment Association opposes this lower cap and urges the council to immediately return to its pre-pandemic policies, which base allowable rent increases on the change in the consumer price index, with a ceiling of 7%.  

This stance reflects the CAA’s concern over the continued constraints on landlords, especially given the financial challenges they have faced during the freeze period. 

Leading up to the committee’s decision earlier this month, landlords highlighted the financial difficulties experienced under the more than three-year rent freeze. During the meeting, housing providers, particularly those managing smaller properties, voiced concerns about meeting mortgage payments and covering rising operational costs amidst stagnant rental incomes.