The Law Office of Paul Mankin

Why Is Los Angeles The Worst City For Renters?

On behalf of Law Office of Paul Mankin on Monday, July 30, 2018.

As a renter, you want to be sure that you are getting a good deal and safe living arrangements when you sign a lease for a home or apartment. Imagine the frustration of paying exorbitant rent rates for subpar living conditions. This is exactly what many residents in Los Angeles, California are dealing with, and it is one of the reasons why the city has topped Forbes’ list of worst cities to rent in for 2018.

If you are paying rent for a home that is uninhabitable, you might be wondering what your legal rights as a tenant are. Many landlords in Los Angeles overlook housing code violations and continue charging rent so high that it eats up most tenants’ income. There are three specific reasons why LA is a bad place for renters: 

1. Low vacancy rates

At the end of the day, vacancy rates are one of the most important factors in determining the power dynamic between landlords and tenants. In cities with high vacancy rates, landlords must be more accommodating to attract the renters they need to fill units. Los Angeles has a historically low vacancy rate, though, which means that renters are the ones who must be willing to compromise. 

2. Poor living conditions

Because there are always tenants seeking housing in Los Angeles, there is little incentive for landlords to invest in necessary maintenance and upgrades on their units. With so many transplants seeking apartments, landlords know that they can rent subpar housing at high rates with little repercussion. This problem can lead to poor living conditions and illegal housing code violations, though.

3. High cost of living

Rent is not the only expense that Angelenos must contend with. Utilities, groceries and other various living expenses are also part of the budget that you must deal with. Much like rent, these expenses are likely to be higher in Los Angeles than in other areas. Simply put, the city has a higher cumulative cost of living, and the result puts even more stress on residents trying to make ends meet.