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Living in L.A. has a lot of benefits (like the Pacific Ocean and gorgeous weather), but it’s expensive–and it may be getting even more pricey.
Earthquake proofing, a rehaul of the city’s trash pick up system, rise in rent-controlled apartment evictions are all driving up the cost of renting an apartment in the City of Angels.
Living in L.A.: Earthquake Proof
Seismic activity in the Los Angeles area threatens to cause major damage and many of the older structures in the city are still woefully unprotected. While the technology exists to make buildings more resilient to earthquakes, many property owners are reluctant to make the necessary upgrades due to the high costs.
If Los Angeles City Council member Bernard Parks gets his way, renters in older buildings could see their monthly rates increase by anywhere from $8 to $50 per month. Parks is pushing for building residents to assume the full cost of any earthquake-proof retrofitting that apartments undergo.
Now Mayor Eric Garcetti is throwing around the idea of mandatory retrofitting while trying to develop a way to pay for it. As the City Council determines the possibility of a bond measure to help fund the earthquake proofing of buildings, renters are voicing their disapproval of Parks’s proposed solution.
The costs to retrofit these dangerous apartment buildings are just one of the many new expenses that those living in L.A. are likely to encounter in the coming year.
Living in L.A: New Trash Collectors
Currently, apartment building owners negotiate with private companies for garbage pickup. Since each owner could negotiate freely with whatever company they so choose, the result is often multiple different trucks handling the trash for the buildings on the same street.
A measure passed in 2012 seeks to cut down on this waste by creating a trash pick up franchise system whereby the city is divided into separate zones and then trash collectors bid for the right to do business in each.
Opponents of the new system claim it will cut back on competition and result in an increase in costs. We will have to wait and see, as the system isn’t set to go into effect until 2017.
Living in L.A.: Rent-Controlled Evictions
In 2013, residents in 378 rent-controlled units were evicted, an increase of 40 percent from the year before. Though renters in these special apartments are protected against random eviction, the passage of the Ellis Act has created a loophole in the system.
The law was passed in the 1980s as a way of giving landlords an out. As long as they either leave the business or demolish the building, the landlord can evict whoever they want. The peak of Ellis Act evictions was in the years before the 2009 recession, though the recent uptick is turning more people out of their homes. With the increase in demand will likely come higher rent for those living in L.A.