Customer Service Hotline 1-866-557-RENT
 
HCIDLA Systems
 Frequently Asked Questions

TOPICS [click on a topic listed below]

Contact the Housing Department
Developers and Contractors
Fair Housing
Home Ownership
Housing Development
Housing Opportunities for Persons with AIDS (HOPWA)
Housing Referrals
Neighborhood Revitalization

Predatory Lending
Rent Stabilization
Rent Registration/Systematic Code Enforcement Combined Annual bill



CONTACT THE LOS ANGELES HOUSING DEPARTMENT (LAHD)

Call
Information Hotline: (213) 808-8888 or toll-free at (866) 557-RENT [7368]
TDD: (213) 978-3231

Internet
http://www.lahd.lacity.org

Visit one of our Public Counters



CODE ENFORCEMENT

How often will my rental unit be inspected?
Currently, units under LAHD's Systematic Code Enforcement Program can be inspected once per cycle, if inspectors can gain access to the rental units. However, if LAHD receives a call requesting an inspection at (866) 557-RENT [7368], an inspector will schedule an appointment to inspect your property.

I have rats in my rental unit. Help!
Vermin infestation is handled by the Los Angeles County Health Department. Call them at (626) 430-5461.

My hot water isn’t working and the manager hasn’t done anything. Can an inspector come to my rental unit?
Yes, call us at (866) 557-RENT [7368] and an inspector will contact you within 48 hours of your call to schedule an appointment to inspect your unit.

I rent a house. Will my home be inspected?
If there are two or more dwelling units on the lot where your house is located, a Housing Inspector will be inspecting your house. If there is only one dwelling unit on the lot, or if you rent a condominium, your home is not covered by LAHD’s Code Enforcement Program. If you have a housing complaint, you will need to call the Department of Building & Safety at (888) LA4-BUILD [524-2845].

I’ve been paying my rent, but my landlord has not been paying the utilities. What can be done?
Call LAHD at (866) 557-RENT [7368] and a Code Inspector will come to your home. The inspector will determine whether your home can be placed into the Utility Maintenance Program. Tenants have the option of paying their rent into an escrow account to maintain the utility services and ensure that their utilities are not shut off.

What are the “alphabet soup” programs?
There are a number of programs that address slum/substandard properties, which are informally referred to as the “alphabet soup” programs. Under the Rent Escrow Account Program (REAP) tenants pay their entire rent to the City to be put into an escrow account until citations against the property are resolved. The Rent Reduction Program (RRP) allows a tenant to get his/her rent reduced by the value of the missing service as determined by LAHD. Under the Urgent Repair Program (URP), buildings cited with life threatening conditions must be repaired within 48 hours. And finally, under the Utility Maintenance Program (UMP), delinquent utility payments by owners can result in a property being placed into REAP. When your unit is inspected, the inspector will take the steps needed to put your unit/property into one of these “alphabet soup” programs, if necessary.

I live in an unincorporated area of Los Angeles County. How do I get a housing code complaint filed?
For code complaints in L.A. County call (877) 966-CODE [2633]. Other cities within L.A. County (such as Burbank, Glendale, Inglewood, Beverly Hills, Culver City, West Hollywood, Santa Monica) have their own code enforcement agencies. Please see the White Pages in your local phone book under City or County Government Offices for your Department of Building & Safety or Public Works.

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CUSTODIAN OF RECORDS

Incoming subpoenas and California Public Records Act (CPRA) requests are handled by the Custodian of Records group in LAHD’s Administrative Services Division.

(213) 922-9612 is the direct information phone and voicemail line for the Custodian of Records group. Use this phone number for Inquiries regarding subpoenas and California Public Records Act (CPRA) requests. General subpoena and CPRA information is provided on the outgoing message and callers will have the option to leave a voicemail message. Our goal is to respond to all requests made to this number within one working day.

Here is some general LAHD Custodian of Records information:
We are available to receive subpoenas and California Public Records Act requests from 9AM to 4PM Monday through Friday.


Code Enforcement
Custodian of Records

Subpoenas for LAHD documents or personnel should be served at the Main Office (1200 W. 7th Street). Process servers should proceed to the Housing Department's 1st floor front counter for a security escort to our office.
CPRA requests may be submitted via fax to (213) 808-8404. Written CPRA requests may be also submitted at the 1st floor front counter.

In accordance with Sec. 12.40(b) of the City of Los Angeles Administrative Code, there is a 10 cent per page fee for the reproduction of public records. Other fees may apply for the duplication of tapes or other audio media.

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DEVELOPERS AND CONTRACTORS

2007 PSHP NOFA Questions & Answers

2008 AHTF Round 1 NOFA Questions & Answers

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FAIR HOUSING

What is "fair housing"?
Fair Housing means that you have the right to choose to live wherever you want, without being stopped by illegal discrimination. Fair Housing not only protects your rights but enables fair housing organizations and governmental agencies to help you enforce your rights.

What are some examples of housing discrimination?

Refusal to sell or rent because of a person's race, religious practices, national origin or other protected category.

Refusal to rent to a person who uses a wheelchair because it would be "inconvenient"

Sexual harassment. 

Different rules for children or limiting children to ground floor units

* State and Federal laws prohibit housing discrimination based on: Race, National Origin, Ancestry, Color, Religion, Gender, Age, Sexual Orientation, Familial Status (children), Marital Status, Mental Disability, Physical Disability (including HIV or AIDS), Source of Income or other arbitrary reasons.

Whom do I call if I've encountered housing discrimination?
Call the Fair Housing & Predatory Lending Hotline toll-free at (800) 477-5977.

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HOME OWNERSHIP

I would like to become a homeowner. How can LAHD help?
LAHD has several home ownership assistance programs. Call the Home Ownership Unit at (213) 808-8925.

How can I find out about the home ownership process?
LAHD cosponsors homebuyer education seminars which are offered year-round. These are free eight hour, one-day seminars held at Patriotic Hall in Downtown Los Angeles. For more information, call the Home Ownership Unit at (213) 808-8925.

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HOUSING DEVELOPMENT

Does LAHD own any housing developments?
No. LAHD works as a lender and does not own or manage rental or ownership property. LAHD provides funding to qualified non-profit and for-profit entities to develop and maintain affordable housing citywide.

Who owns the Public Housing Projects?
The Housing Authority of the City of Los Angeles (HACLA) owns and manages public housing.

Does LAHD provide housing for homeless persons?
LAHD provides funds for permanent housing for homeless individuals. Transitional housing is funded through the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority (LAHSA).

I'm a 501(c)(3) non-profit housing developer and would like to build affordable housing in Los Angeles. How do I find out about your development financing programs?
Applications for the funding and development of affordable housing are provided through a Notice of Funding Availability (NOFA). Depending on the availability of funds, NOFA's have, in the past, been announced yearly or every two years. Contact the Affordable Housing Trust Fund Unit of the Housing Development Division at (213) 808-8936.

A 5-year old child has tested positive for lead poisoning in my apartment building. Can LAHD help with mitigating the lead in my apartment?
Only projects that have already been approved for rehabilitation loans are provided grants under the Lead Hazard Reduction Program to mitigate lead hazards.

However, on a case-by-case basis, alternative financing may be provided, especially if there is a referral from Los Angeles County on the lead poisoning incident. Call LAHD's Lead Unit at (213) 808-8933 for an evaluation of eligibility for housing alternatives.

Where can I get other information about lead paint and children's health?
Call the Los Angeles County Department of Health Services, Childhood Lead Program at (800) LA-4-LEAD [524-5323].

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HOUSING OPPORTUNITIES FOR PERSONS WITH AIDS (HOPWA)

What services are provided under Housing Opportunities for Persons with AIDS (HOPWA)?
LAHD administers this countywide funding program to non-profit agencies who provide needed services to the low income and homeless population living with HIV/AIDS, through direct and indirect housing assistance and supportive service programs. These services include emergency hotel/motel/meal vouchers, housing information and referrals, and tenant-based rental assistance. For more information call (213) 808-8805.

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HOUSING REFERRALS

Can you place me on the list for Section 8 housing?
No. The Housing Authority of the City of Los Angeles (HACLA) administers Section 8 housing in the City of Los Angeles. Call their hotline at (213) 252-6199.

How can I find out what the zoning is on a vacant lot across from my house?
Call the Department of Building and Safety at (888) LA-4-BUILD.

My landlord has not returned my security deposit.   What can I do?
The laws governing the return of security deposits are enforced by the State of California. Please contact the Consumer Affairs Department at (213) 974-1452.

My landlord did some work in my rental unit and some of my personal property was damaged. How do I get restitution for my damaged belongings?
Restitution or damages can only be granted by a judge. You would have to sue your landlord in Civil Court.

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NEIGHBORHOOD REVITALIZATION

Can I get a loan to repair my house?
LAHD provides low interest home improvement rehabilitation loans to single family homeowners.

I'm a senior citizen and need a window replaced in my house. Can LAHD help me out?
You might be able to qualify under the Handyworker Program, administered by LAHD. The Handyworker Program provides free minor home repairs to low income senior (62 years and older) or disabled resident homeowners or homeowners with disabled relatives residing with them. Emergency repairs that directly affect the health and safety of occupants are also provided to other low income homeowners (regardless of age or disability status). Eligible repairs are limited to work that does not require a City building permit or formal inspection. Call the Handyworker Program at (213) 808-8803.

I'm disabled and need a wheelchair ramp installed to get into my home. Who can help me?
You might be able to qualify under the Handyworker Program, administered by LAHD (see previous question).

What can I do about a vacant property on my block where there has been a lot of gang activity?
This is considered a "nuisance condition". The Citywide Nuisance Abatement Program (CNAP), run by the City Attorney's Office, brings these properties back into productive use. The public can help identify problem properties by calling the City Attorney's Neighborhood Prosecutor Program at 1-877- LA CARES [522-2737].

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PREDATORY LENDING

What is predatory lending?
"Predatory Lending" is the phrase used to describe home loan scams, where a lender/contractor uses deception or fraud to take unfair advantage of a borrower's lack of understanding about loan terms, combined with such unfair terms as excessive fees and very high interest rates, without regard to the borrower's ability to repay the loan. In 2001, LAHD launched the Los Angeles Don't Borrow Trouble campaign to educate homeowners about the dangers of predatory lending.

What are some signs of a predatory loan?

You receive home loan offers on the phone, in the mail or someone comes to your door.
A contractor says he can arrange financing for your home repair.
Your are pressured to sign documents immediately.
You are asked to sign documents with blanks in them.
You are not told the interest rate and the fees are not explained.
Who can help me if I entered into a bad loan, or if I want advice on the terms of a home repair loan I am considering?
Call the Fair Housing & Predatory Lending Hotline toll-free at (800) 477-5977.

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RENT STABILIZATION

What is the Rent Stabilization Ordinance (RSO)?
The RSO was passed as an ordinance in 1978 to protect tenants from excessive rent increases, while at the same time, allowing landlords a reasonable return on their investments.

Is my rental unit covered under the RSO?
You are covered under the RSO if you rent within the City of Los Angeles, the building was constructed before October 1978, and it is an apartment, condominium, townhome, duplex, a house with two or more dwelling units on the same lot, or a hotel, motel, rooming/boarding house room where you have stayed for 30 or more consecutive days. Mobile homes or mobile home pads are covered by the RSO if the park was issued a permit to operate before February 10, 1986.

I live in a condo. Is it covered under the RSO?
Yes, if you rent and the unit meets the conditions stated above. However, the amount of rent the landlord can charge is not controlled, unless you’ve been a tenant in the same unit since before January 1, 1996.

I rent a house. Is that covered under the RSO?
Only if there are two or more dwelling units on that property and the units were built before October 1978.

Does a landlord pay a registration fee for every unit rented?
No. Only those subject to the RSO. Units exempt from the fee are: those occupied by the landlord, certain units receiving a governmental subsidy (HUD), certified luxury exempt or certified substantially renovated.

How can I find out if my unit is registered?
Contact LAHD at (866) 557-RENT [7368].

What is the yearly allowable rent increase for units under the RSO?
This percentage is tied to the Consumer Price Index and is calculated every year. To find the current allowable rent increase, call (866) 557-RENT [7368] or see the applicable bulletin on the LAHD web site.

What if my landlord is raising my rent by more than the percentage currently allowable by the Rent Stabilization Ordinance?
You may file a complaint by calling us at (866) 557-RENT [7368], or through this web site.

I live in an apartment covered by the RSO. Can my landlord evict me for any reason he wants?
No. You may only be evicted for one of the reasons allowable under the RSO. And you may not be evicted just so your landlord can raise the rent. For information about the allowable reasons for eviction, please contact us at (866) 557-RENT [7368] or access the RSO at http://lacodes.lacity.org. The RSO is Chapter XV of the City of Los Angeles Municipal Code.

I am being evicted from my apartment. Do I receive any relocation assistance?
Relocation assistance is required if your unit is under the RSO and your landlord is evicting you for his/her own occupancy, spouse, parents, children or a resident manager. Assistance is also required for major rehabilitation and demolition, as well as orders from a governmental agency to vacate due to a violation of the Los Angeles Municipal Code or any other provision of law. Qualified tenants (those 62 years or older, disabled or those who have minor dependent children) are entitled to $17,080 and all other tenants are entitled to $9,040 [these amounts were increased effective April 11, 2007].

Where do I find out about my rights as a tenant if I don't live within the City of Los Angeles?
Please call your City Hall and ask for the department that deals with rental housing issues.

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last changed 2/4/2011
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