West Hollywood Requires Acceptance of Reusable Tenant Screening Reports and Eliminates Dog Breed Res

Local News Alerts,

On May 1st the West Hollywood City Council adopted amendments to the existing rent stabilization ordinance. The three key changes for multifamily rental housing providers are: (1) requirement to accept reusable tenant screening reports (RTSR), (2) prohibitions on discriminating against specific dog breeds, and (3) renter’s right of first refusal for replacement parking spaces.

Reusable Tenant Screening Reports (RTSR)

Rental housing providers must now accept reusable tenant screening reports (RTSR) that were prepared within the previous thirty (30) days by a consumer reporting agency at the request and expense of the applicant and that is made directly available to the rental housing provider either as part of the application process or through a third-party website that regularly engages in the business of providing such reports. 

The good news is that the RTSR must be made available to the rental housing provider at no cost to access or use it.  Also, the rental housing provider does not have to accept a RTSR that does not contain all of the following items: (1) name, (2) contact information, (3) verification of employment, (4) last known address, (5) results of an eviction history check in a manner and for a period of time consistent with applicable law related to the consideration of eviction history in housing, (6) criminal history information, (7) credit report and score, and (8) date report was created. For an RTSR that does not meet these requirements, acceptance and use is optional for rental housing providers to accept it or not. However, if the RTSR is accepted either as required by the new ordinance or optionally, the rental housing provider is prevented from charging the applicant either a fee to access the report or an application screening fee.

In addition, the rental housing provider may require the applicant state or affirm that there has been no material change(s) to the information contained in the report.  For AAGLA members, our application form (A1-Application to Rent) has already been updated with the necessary language for rental applicants to attest that there have been no material changes to the RTSR. The Application to Rent can be found in our rental forms library online at www.aagla.org, and is available for use by all AAGLA members at no charge.

Prohibition Against Excluding Specific Dog Breeds

Under the amended ordinance, no specific breed of domesticated dog may be prohibited by a landlord when such pet is otherwise permitted under the terms of a tenancy or pursuant to local, state or federal law.

However, AAGLA won an important concession from the City Council by raising the issue that many rental housing owners have insurance policies that prevent specific breeds of dog in order to maintain coverage.  As such, the City Council agreed to create an exemption for a particular breed or breeds that can be obtained from the Human Services and Rent Stabilization Department upon a showing of good cause that a current property insurance policy would be violated if said breed or breeds were permitted at the property or rental unit. Also, any breed of dog may still be required to be removed from a property if it is causing a nuisance or is a threat to the health, safety or welfare of other persons residing in or having lawful access to the premises.

Right of First Refusal for Parking Spaces

When the removal of a parking space is necessary to comply with any government order or to create an Accessory Dwelling Unit (ADU), a rental property owner is now required to provide a one-time right of first refusal to the tenant who lost parking to receive the next on-site, off-street parking space or spaces that are either available when the parking space is eliminated or become available following the first vacancy of a rental unit having on-site, off-street parking. In the event that multiple tenants have their parking eliminated, the order of offering the right of first refusal to obtain on-site, off-street parking space(s) shall be based on the following order of precedence: (1) disabled tenants based on the seniority of the tenancy; (2) senior citizen tenants based on the seniority of the tenancy; and (3) seniority of the tenancy for all other tenants.

This article is for informational purposes only. If you have any questions regarding your property or specific tenancies and the requirements of any local law changes described herein, please consult with an attorney.