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Culver City Tenant Protections - Evictions, Rent Increases, Relocation Assistance, Tenant Buyout Agreements, and Anti Harassment

Prepared By: Melissa C. Marsh, Los Angeles Landlord-Tenant Attorney
Written: April 2022  

Culver City Tenant Protections Ordinance Applies to Single Family Homes and Condos

Culver City Tenant Protection Ordinance Applies to ALL Rentals in Culver City

In Culver City there is a Rent Stabilization Ordinance and a separate Tenant Protection Ordinance that applies to ALL rentals within Culver City, including single family residences. These combined Culver City rent ordinances have been labeled by many as the most draconian in the state of California. This article focuses on and provides an overview of Culver City’s Tenant Protection Ordinance applicable to every unit offered for rent within Culver City, including single family residences, condos and townhomes, including: Culver City registration requirements, Culver City required lease clauses, Culver City just cause requirements for tenant evictions, Culver City requirements for owner occupancy, Culver City requirements for tenant buyout agreements (cash for keys), and Culver City's Tenant Anti Harassment provisions.

1. Culver City Requires Rental Registration and Posting of a Notice on ALL rentals
2. Culver City Required Notice to All Tenants
3. Culver City Allowable Rent Increases
4. Culver City Just Cause Required For Evictions
5. Culver City Relocation Assistance Fees Required For Repairs
6. Culver City Requirements for Owner Occupancy
7. Culver City Mandates for Uninhabitable Conditions
8. Culver City Requirements for Tenant Buyout Agreements
9. Culver City Tenant Anti-Harassment Provisions

Have some questions? You can schedule a same day low cost 30 minute telephone consultation with Ms. Marsh, a California attorney with 25+ years experience, and Ms. Marsh will contact you at the time you select. Please note that at least 30 minutes is required for Ms. Marsh to properly review your options pertaining to any landlord tenant matter due to the interplay of local, county, and state laws.

1. Culver City Rental Registration and Posting Of Certificate Requirements.

Pursuant to Culver City’s new Tenant Protections, ALL Culver City landlords (including those renting out single family residences, condos, and townhomes) are required to register their rental unit with Culver City by March 31, 2022. Starting on July 31, 2022, Culver City landlords must re-register their rental units annually by July 31st of each year. Culver City Landlord's can register their Culver City rental units online at Culver City Rental Unit Registration.

All Culver City Landlords must also post in a conspicuous place, or give to each tenant, the Culver City Rent Registration Certificate for each rental unit. That’s not so bad and in line with most local rent control and eviction control ordinances.

However, Culver City has gone one step further and requires ALL Culver City landlords to post at the front entrance of the rental property Culver City's Form Rent Control and Tenant Protection Notice. Basically this form alerts every person that walks by your property that this property is a rental property. Culver City needs to amend this actual posting requirement for single family homes, condos and townhomes as this Notice, like most others, should only be required to be given to the Culver City tenant either in the lease, a written notice, or as an addendum to lease.

2. Culver City Required Notice to All Prospective Tenants.

Pursuant to Culver City's new Tenant Protections ALL Culver City landlords (including those was renting out single family residences, condos, and townhomes) are required to add the following notice in 12-point type to their leases:

"The Culver City Municipal Code requires that after at least one tenant has continuously and lawfully occupied a rental unit for 12 months or more, the landlord must provide a statement of cause in any notice to terminate a Tenancy. See § 15.09.300, et seq., of the Culver City Municipal Code for more information."

Pursuant to the poorly written ordinance, the above Notice must be signed by the Tenant, included as an Addendum to the Lease, and for tenancies that existed before October 30, 2020 must be signed by the Tenant or added as an Addendum no later than November 30, 2020. See Culver City § 5.09.310.B.4.

Have some questions? You can schedule a same day low cost 30 minute telephone consultation with Ms. Marsh, a California attorney with 25+ years experience, and Ms. Marsh will contact you at the time you select. Please note that at least 30 minutes is required for Ms. Marsh to properly review your options pertaining to any landlord tenant matter due to the interplay of local, county, and state laws.

The reason I opine that the Culver City Tenant Protections were poorly written is that under the ordinance if a Culver City landlord did not provide Notice by November 30, 2020 (1 month after the enactment of Tenant Protections) when most if not the majority of Culver City landlords were unaware of the requirement, there is no means by which the Landlord can cure this mistake as a landlord cannot force a tenant to sign a Notice or to sign an addendum. This is problematic as the Tenant Protections go on to state that a Culver City landlord who "fails to satisfy the requirements of § 15.09.310.B … then the Notice of Termination will be deemed void and of no further force or effect." Culver City § 5.09.310.C. In essence, if a Culver City landlord was unaware of the above requirement or used a form lease from AAGLA (Apartment Association Greater Los Angeles), AOA (Apartment Owners Association), or CAR (California Association Realtors), none of which include or offer this as a Notice or Addendum in their form leases, arguably the Landlord is prohibited from pursing a For Cause Eviction. Culver City admits this is not their intent, but they have not amended the statute.

3. Culver City Allowable Rent Increases

Coming Soon!

4. Culver City Just Cause Required For Evictions.

If you need or want to terminate a tenancy in the city of Culver City, this will be an arduous task as such must be done in compliance with Culver City’s Tenant Protections. Culver City’s Tenant Protections require "Just Cause" to terminate a tenancy, even for single family residences, condos and townhomes. As stated previously, Culver City's Tenant Protections apply to ALL rentals within the city. Culver City's Tenant Protections provide only eight (8) grounds under which a landlord may terminate a tenancy in Culver City, including:

  1. Failure to Pay Rent. Tenant failed to pay Rent, was served with a written Three Day Notice to Pay Rent or Quit in compliance with California Code of Civil Procedure Section 1161(2) and failed to remit payment (Please note that the Los Angeles County Covid Moratorium must also be complied with and may restrict this as a basis for eviction in calendar year 2022);
  2. Breach of a Material Lease Term. Tenant violated a Material Rental Agreement Term, was served with a Ten (10) Day Notice to Cure or Quit in compliance with Cal. Code of Civil Procedure Section 1161 and Cal. Civil Code Section 1946.2(c), and failed to cure the violation;
  3. Denial of Entry. Tenant has continued to refuse reasonable access to the rental unit for needed repairs after proper service of a 24 Hour Notice of Entry;
  4. Waste, Nuisance, or Illegal Activity. Tenant has committed waste at the rental, used the rental to create a nuisance, or used the rental for an illegal purpose as set forth in Cal. Code of Civil Procedure § 1161(4);
  5. Government Order to Comply. The Landlord seeks in good faith to recover possession of the rental to comply with a government agency order to vacate;
  6. Ellis Act Removal.The Landlord seeks in good faith to recover possession to immediately demolish the rental unit or to permanently remove the rental from rental market under California State law (commonly known as an Ellis Act Eviction);
  7. Deed Restriction. The Landlord seeks in good faith to recover possession of the rental to "comply with a deed restriction, regulatory restriction contained in an agreement with a government agency, or other recorded document as affordable housing for persons and families of extremely low, very low, low, or moderate income, or…"; and
  8. Owner Occupancy. Landlord seeks in good faith to recover possession of the rental for use as a primary residence for at least the following three (3) years by the Landlord or the Landlord’s spouse, registered domestic partner, children, grandchildren, parents, or grandparents, but certain conditions must be met (discussed below).

If the termination notice is based on Numbers 6, 7,or 8 above (a no fault termination), the Landlord must include the following notice in 12-point type in the termination notice:

"Pursuant to the requirements of the Culver City Municipal Code, you may be entitled to relocation assistance. Qualifying tenants are entitled to relocation assistance in the amount of three (3) times Tenant’s current monthly Rent in effect, plus one thousand dollars ($1,000.00). The amount of relocation assistance provided to you may be less if your Landlord qualifies as a Small Landlord. See Culver City Municipal Code Section 15.09.325 for more information."

Have some questions? You can schedule a same day low cost 30 minute telephone consultation with Ms. Marsh, a California attorney with 25+ years experience, and Ms. Marsh will contact you at the time you select. Please note that at least 30 minutes is required for Ms. Marsh to properly review your options pertaining to any landlord tenant matter due to the interplay of local, county, and state laws. Ms. Marsh can also prepare or respond to any Notice needed, or received.

5. Culver City Relocation Fees Required For No Fault Termination
If a Notice of Termination is based on a No Fault Termination ground (numbers 6-8 above) the Landlord is required to pay the tenant(s) the greater of: (a) three (3) times the tenant's monthly rent, or (b) three time the Small Area Fair Market Rent established by the U.S. Department of Housing & Urban Development for a comparable unit in the same ZIP code, plus one thousand dollars ($1,000.00). Small landlord’s who own three of less rental units in Culver City can reduce the required relocation fee by 50% IF the landlord is seeking in good faith to Owner Occupy the rental for at least 3 years.

The Landlord must pay the relocation fee (with some allowable offsets) half within 5 business days of serving the no fault termination notice and the other half within five (5) business days of the Tenant vacating the rental.

If there is more than one tenant occupying the unit Culver City requires each tenant to be paid their proportional share.

6. Culver City Requirements For Owner Occupancy

If a landlord in Culver City wants to Owner Occupy their own home, or any rental unit, they will have some large hurdles to overcome and in many instances will be prohibited from Owner Occupying their own home by Culver City's onerous tenant protections.

First an landowner may only Owner Occupy a Culver City rental (even your own single family residence) once for any and all rental units the Owner has in Culver City. Assuming the land owner has never sought to Owner Occupy a rental unit in Culver City, the Owner must then meet the second hurdle. The second requirement is that if the Tenant signed or renewed a lease (oral too) after July 1, 2020, the Lease Agreement must state something to the effect that, "the Landlord may unilaterally terminate this Rental Agreement if the Landlord, or their spouse, domestic partner, children, grandchildren, parents, or grandparents decide to occupy the Rental Unit." If this second hurdle is met, then the Landlord must verify that they are not prohibited from Owner Occupying the Culver City rental unit.

The Culver City Tenant Protections prohibit an Owner from Owner Occupying their rental unit (even a single family residence, condo or townhome) if any Tenant in the rental:

  1. has continuously resided in the rental unit for 10 years, and a member of Tenant's household is either: (a) 62 years of age or older; or (b) disabled; OR
  2. is terminally ill as certified by a treating physician licensed to practice in the State of California; OR
  3. is a low-income tenant (household income does not exceed the qualifying limits for "lower income families" which can be as much as $100,000 for a family of four; OR
  4. .
  5. has one or more school aged (grades Pre-K-12) children enrolled in a public school (in which case any notice of termination must set forth a vacate date that is NOT during the school term).

Even if the owner, or his/her family member seeking to occupy the rental unit is terminally ill, disabled, or low income, they will not qualify and will be prohibited from occupying their own home if the tenant or any member of the tenant's family falls into one of the categories above.

7. Culver City Requires Temporary Relocation and Assistance Fees or Mitigation For Uninhabitable Conditions.

First it should be noted that major rehabilitation, or repairs of uninhabitable conditions, is NOT a basis for a No Fault just cause eviction in Culver City. Pursuant to Culver City's Tenant Protections, "Untenantable conditions" requires either: (i) temporary relocation of the tenants at the landlord's sole cost and expense, or (ii) the performance of eight (8) mitigation measures.

Definition of Untenable Conditions under Culver City Tenant Protections.

Culver City Tenant Protections define Untenantable Conditions as: (a) any condition that makes the rental unit "incapable of being safely occupied;" (b) "Substantial Rehabilitation" of any structural, electrical, plumbing, or mechanical system in the rental unit that requires a permit AND that cannot be reasonably accomplished in a safe manner with the tenant in place; (c) the abatement of hazardous materials, including lead-based paint, mold, or asbestos, in accordance with applicable federal, state, and local laws that cannot be reasonably accomplished in a safe manner with the tenant in place; (d) "any work performed to comply with housing, health, building, or safety laws of the State or this Code" and/or (e) fumigation.

"Substantial Rehabilitation" under Culver City Tenant Protections specifically excludes any "Cosmetic improvements alone, including painting, decorating, and minor repairs, OR other work that can be performed safely without having the residential real property vacated."

Culver City Tenant Protections 8 Mitigation Requirements For Untenable Conditions.

If there are uninhabitable conditions as described above, a Culver City landlord is required to either temporarily relocate the tenant (requirements are set forth below) or "mitigate temporary untenantable conditions," by performing the following eight (8) mitigation measures:

  1. protect the Tenant's personal property during construction;
  2. provide reasonable alternative parking if the Tenant is otherwise entitled to parking;
  3. protect the Tenants from exposure at any time to toxic or hazardous materials;
  4. Take reasonable steps to prevent the disruption of major systems;
  5. Safely store all construction equipment and materials;
  6. Ensure the tenants can safely enter and exit the rental;
  7. Only work during the permitted construction hours under this Code or project permits; AND
  8. Post a notice at the entrance of the affected rental unit(s) 30 days before the work is to begin in a semi permanent manner that states the expected duration of the construction work and briefly describe the nature of the work. (the Notice must remain posted throughout the course of the work.

Have some questions? You can schedule a same day low cost 30 minute telephone consultation with Ms. Marsh, a California attorney with 25+ years experience, and Ms. Marsh will contact you at the time you select. Please note that at least 30 minutes is required for Ms. Marsh to properly review your options pertaining to any landlord tenant matter due to the interplay of local, county, and state laws.

Temporary Relocation Due To Untenable Conditions.

If the proposed work the Landlord seeks to perform will make the rental untenantable as defined in California Civil Code Section 1941.1, or will expose the tenant at any time to toxic or hazardous materials, the Culver City landlord must provide the Tenant with Temporary Relocation Benefits in compliance with the Tenant Protections. These include:

  1. Relocation to a safe motel or hotel in Culver City with standard amenities and sleeping capacity for the number of occupants living in the rental; AND
  2. Reasonable compensation for meals if the motel or hotel room procured does not have a kitchen facility; AND
  3. Reasonable compensation for laundry, if the motel or hotel room procured does not offer laundry and the Tenant’s rental unit has laundry; AND
  4. Reasonable accommodation for pets that were allowed under the rental agreement; AND
  5. Any costs related to relocating the Tenant to and from the temporary housing accommodations.

In the event temporary relocation is required, the Landlord must provide written notice to the Tenant (with a copy to the Culver City Housing Division by Express Certified Mail) of the need to temporarily vacate, the projected completion date of the work and a statement that the Tenant has the right to reoccupy the rental unit once the work is completed.

CAUTION: Although the above provides my reasonable interpretation of the Tenant Protections, it is my opinion that Culver City's Housing Department has taken some extreme positions. Culver City Landlords should not attempt compliance without the assistance of an attorney unless and until Culver City's Housing Department starts to provide timely advice to its constituents.

8. Culver City Tenant Buyout Offers and Cash For Keys Agreement

In Culver City a landlord is prohibited from offering or discussing a potential cash for keys agreement, or tenant buyout offer, without first having the Tenant sign a 3 page written disclosure form provided by the Culver City's Housing Division.

Offering the tenant money to vacate or discussing the potential for a buyout WITHOUT first having the tenant sign the Culver City Buyout Disclosure Form may lead to a claim of tenant harassment to which the landlord will have few, if any, defenses.

If the tenant signs the Culver City cash for keys, or tenant buyout, disclosure form, then the landlord may propose a tenant buyout offer. Any Culver City tenant buyout offer, or cash for keys agreement, however will be deemed VOID unless ALL of the following requirements are met:

  1. the tenant Buyout Agreement must be written in the tenant's primary language; AND
  2. The tenant Buyout must be given to the tenant at least 10 days before it is signed by the tenant; AND
  3. the tenant buyout Agreement must include in 14pt bold type just above the space provided for the Tenant's signature a prescribed statement that in effect advises the tenant that they are not required to execute a buyout agreement, that the agreement may be canceled anytime for the following 45 days, and that the tenant should consult with an Attorney and/or the Culver City Housing Division; AND
  4. the tenant must be give a duly signed copy of the buyout agreement; AND
  5. the buyout amount must equal or exceed the relocation assistance required if the tenant was subject to a no fault eviction; AND
  6. Both the signed Culver City Buyout Disclosure Form with a signed proof of service and the executed Buyout Agreement must be filed with the Culver City Housing Division within 20 days of the buyout agreement being executed.

Have some questions? You can schedule a same day low cost 30 minute telephone consultation with Ms. Marsh, a California attorney with 25+ years experience, and Ms. Marsh will contact you at the time you select. Please note that at least 30 minutes is required for Ms. Marsh to properly review your options pertaining to any landlord tenant matter due to the interplay of local, county, and state laws.

9. Culver City Tenant Anti-Harassment Provisions

Culver City has an exhaustive list of what it considers to be Tenant Harassment. In fact, the "nice" landlord who merely wants to accommodate their tenant could easily be trapped into violating Culver City's Tenant Anti-Harassment protections.

Pursuant to the Culver City Tenant Protections, each of the following ARE deemed harassment and subject to an administrative fine of $1,000 per occurrence, a misdemeanor charge, and a civil lawsuit for damages plus attorney's fees and costs if the court finds in favor of the tenant:

  1. Purposely interrupting, or terminating, a Housing Service required by the Rental Agreement in bad faith;
  2. Failing to perform repairs and maintenance in bad faith;
  3. Purposely failing to "exercise due diligence" in completing repairs once undertaken, or failing to follow industry standards designed to minimize exposure to noise, dust, lead, paint, mold, and/or asbestos;
  4. Abusing the Landlord's right of reasonable access to the rental unit including, unnecessary entries for inspections to annoy, or to collect evidence against a tenant, or entries that are unreasonable in frequency or duration;
  5. Repeatedly mistreating an occupant during in person conversations, through social media postings or texts;
  6. Attempting to influence a Tenant to vacate through fraud, intimidation or coercion;
  7. Threatening an occupant, by word or gesture, with physical harm;
  8. Knowingly and intentionally violate ANY LAW which prohibits discrimination against the Tenant;
  9. Making a sexual demand on a Tenant in exchange for something related to the rental, or making a lewd comment or sexually suggestive statement to the tenant;
  10. Attempting to terminate a tenancy, including serving any Notice of Termination or serving an eviction summons and complaint based upon facts which the Landlord has no reasonable cause to believe to be true;
  11. Removing the tenant's personal property from the rental without the prior written consent of the Tenant;
  12. Offering a buyout to a tenant more than once in any six (6) month time period;
  13. Attempting to coerce a Tenant to vacate with a buyout offer that is presented with a threat or intimidation;
  14. Refusing to acknowledge receipt of a Tenant's Rent payment, or failing to cash a tenant’s rent check for over 30 days;
  15. Requesting information that violates a Tenant's right to privacy such as the tenant's residency or citizenship status, protected class status, or social security number (except to run a prospective tenant’s credit); or releasing any such information that is in Landlord's possession;
  16. Violating a Tenant's right to privacy by entering, photographing, or video recording portions of a rental that are beyond the scope of an authorized entry or inspection;
  17. Interfering with a Tenant's right to the quiet use and enjoyment of the rental; AND
  18. Any other act or omission that causes, or was likely to cause a tenant to vacate.

Have some questions? You can schedule a same day low cost 30 minute telephone consultation with Ms. Marsh, a California attorney with 25+ years experience, and Ms. Marsh will contact you at the time you select. Please note that at least 30 minutes is required for Ms. Marsh to properly review your options pertaining to any landlord tenant matter due to the interplay of local, county, and state laws.


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Disclaimer: The information presented on this web site was prepared by Melissa C. Marsh for general informational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice. The information provided in my articles and alerts should not be relied upon, or used as a substitute for professional legal advice from an attorney you retain to advise or represent you. Your use of this Internet site does not create an attorney- client relationship. Transmission of this article is not intended to create, and receipt of it does not constitute, an attorney-client relationship. All uses of the contents of this site, other than personal uses, are prohibited. You may print or email a copy of any information posted on this web site for your own personal, non-commercial, use, but you may not publish any of the articles or posts on this web site without the Express Written Permission of Melissa C. Marsh.


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Located in Los Angeles, California, the Law Office of Melissa C. Marsh handles business law and corporation law matters as a lawyer for clients throughout Los Angeles including Burbank, Sherman Oaks, Studio City, Valley Village, North Hollywood, Woodland Hills, Hollywood, West LA as well as Riverside County, San Fernando, Ventura County, and Santa Clarita. Attorney Melissa C. Marsh has considerable experience handling business matters both nationally and internationally. We routinely assist our clients with incorporation, forming a California corporation, forming a California llc, partnership, annual minutes, shareholder meetings, director meetings, getting a taxpayer ID number (EIN), buying a business, selling a business, commercial lease review, employee disputes, independent contractors, construction, and personal matters such as preparing a will, living trust, power of attorney, health care directive, and more.