January 19, 2016
The Los Angeles City Council has ruled that renters and apartment owners must equally share the financial burden of mandatory earthquake retrofits. The unanimous vote lets owners pass along half of the cost to tenants through rent increases over a 10-year period, not to exceed $38 per month.
The ruling about who would pay for the fixes follows adoption of an ambitious law in October 2015, that requires retrofits of approximately 15,000 buildings across Los Angeles. The new retrofit law gives property owners seven years to strengthen “soft-story” wooden apartments, and 25 years to strengthen concrete buildings.
The tough new seismic law seeks to strengthen two types of older buildings that proved deadly in past earthquakes: brittle concrete buildings and wood-frame apartment complexes with weak first floors.