Lawsuit Filed in Federal Court Against the City of Los Angeles to Protect Privacy of Tenants and Rental Property Owners

Lawsuit Filed in Federal Court Against the City of Los Angeles to Protect Privacy of Tenants and Rental Property Owners

LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA – JANUARY 2, 2018: Southern California’s leading advocate for affordable, quality housing, the Apartment Association of Greater Los Angeles (AAGLA), has filed a lawsuit against the City of Los Angeles on behalf of apartment tenants and owners. The lawsuit, filed in Federal Court seeks relief from the City’s Rent Stabilization Ordinance (RSO) that mandates a tenant rental registry and disclosure of sensitive and confidential data as about monthly rental amounts paid by tenants, tenant utility payments, and onsite parking availability.

In September 2016, the City amended the RSO by requiring that apartment owners, as a condition of obtaining a City issued Rental Registration Certificate (without which owners could not legally rent their units), provide the government with sensitive tenant information, including monthly rental amounts paid by tenants, specific unit numbers, utility payments and onsite parking availability. The AAGLA lawsuit alleges that this information is being obtained by the City without the consent of tenants or apartment owners, or through court order and is; therefore, in violation of the Fourth Amendment to the Constitution prohibiting unlawful searches and seizures.

AAGLA’s President of the Board, Earle Vaughan, stated: “The City of Los Angeles’ tenant rental registry is clearly unconstitutional in that it forces apartment owners to disclose confidential data without any sort of due process. The City of Los Angeles is merely conducting an ongoing ‘fishing expedition” without reasonable suspicion, and has discarded any and all probable cause standards in its efforts to gather what amounts to confidential tenant data.”

AAGLA’s Executive Director, Daniel Yukelson, stated: “The City would be better served by obtaining this confidential tenant information directly from the tenants themselves rather than imposing this onerous rental registry on income property owners.”

Yukelson added: “Through its Rent Stabilization Ordinance, the City of Los Angeles has undertaken a vicious campaign against small residential income property owners. The RSO’s new Tenant Rental Registry is just another aspect in the long line of the City’s already overreaching and burdensome housing laws that small apartment owners must contend with, including the latest price-gouging regional trash collection monopolies being sold to the public as boosting recycling.”

AAGLA is represented by attorney Frank A. Weiser of Los Angeles who won a recent lawsuit against the City of Los Angeles in Patel vs. City of Los Angeles (135 S. Ct. 2443 (2015)) under a similar theory as the current lawsuit. In the Patel case, the United States Supreme Court held that the City’s practice of compelling motel and hotel operators to make available for inspection their registry of guests is unconstitutional under the Fourth Amendment. Mr. Weiser stated: “Other municipalities will likely adopt these invasive policies unless a constitutional legal challenge such as this lawsuit is undertaken on behalf of small residential income property owners.”

The Apartment Association of Greater Los Angeles is Southern California’s leading advocate for affordable, quality housing on behalf of rental housing providers. Founded more than 100 years ago, AAGLA’s mission is to serve the interests of multifamily owners, managers, developers and suppliers with services and activities to maintain a high level of professionalism in the multifamily housing industry. AAGLA directly advocates for the rental housing industry locally in the city, county, state and federal government to better serve the rental housing needs of the public in a just and fair manner.


  1. John January 4, 2018 at 7:22 pm - Reply

    The want to do this possibly in anticipation to the repeal of Costa-Hawkins as a way to monitor the prices when units become vacant. West Hollywood did it in the early 1980’s and still requires it today as they were one of the cities where you could not raise the rent when a tenant moves out. The timing is suspect, since the RSO did not require it and now suddenly when Costa-Hawkins is eliminated it comes up.

  2. Mike Tolj January 5, 2018 at 1:24 am - Reply

    Excellent! Great job AAGLA

  3. Elaine Maike January 5, 2018 at 1:51 am - Reply

    I agree, the government has no business asking for sensitive information about my tenants.
    They may ask the tenants but I have the obligation to my tenants to protect their privacy.

  4. charles Jeannel January 5, 2018 at 6:21 pm - Reply

    Last year I refused to give any information, I simply paid the regular fee.
    In retaliation, they (purposely) did not cash my check until after the Feb 28, and charged me with penalty and other charges.
    This year again, I’ll not provide any tenant’s info, and will go in person to pay early and getting a receipt.

    On top of that they are the only administration that states that the Post Office stamp showing the date of mailing (I did it with Registered Mail with Return Receipt on Feb. 22, 2017) is not valid,
    They state that it is only when they receive the payment, whether they put the payment on a shelve for later opening, or open the envelope upon receiving it.
    This could be illegal, or at least unfair and open to abuses, like in my case.

    • John February 20, 2018 at 1:54 am - Reply

      don’t do that

  5. Maryellen Grzesik January 6, 2018 at 6:08 pm - Reply

    Thank you AAGLA from the bottom of my heart. What should we do this year about sending in the info they requested for the RSO/SCEP fees and info they are requesting. Should we give them that info or just not submit it and let them not allow us to collect the rent(s). That is a harsh decision to make….Landlord

  6. Terry January 9, 2018 at 11:21 pm - Reply

    Very happy to hear about this! The inspectors from LAHCID (old name LAHD) don’t know anything about plumbing and electrical issues. But they are abusing their powers to file cases against small property owners.

  7. judy platus January 19, 2018 at 2:16 am - Reply

    I hated to fill in the form, realizing that it was an invasion of privacy for my tenant, but it sounded like I HAD to fill it in by a deadline they put on it, and not to be in violation I registered and provided the asked for information. I wish I could retract it now with the hope that the law suit will do away with the requirement.

  8. J. C. Harding February 3, 2018 at 7:39 am - Reply

    I always rent out garages and parking spaces, stoves, curtains, curtain rods, window A/C units,etc – on a separate rental agreement. That never goes under rent control…. And they go three years back when they institute rent control. So keep your paper work current, rent increases current..etc

  9. John February 20, 2018 at 1:39 am - Reply

    If we want to ask these questions than 2 questions for Tenants:

    1. do you have any pets not on the lease
    2. do you have any occupant in the unit that is not on the lease

    both under fear of perjury

  10. John February 20, 2018 at 1:52 am - Reply

    A RSO manager on the phone with city councilman Bob Bloomfield’s office told me the reason was “30% of annual increases were given incorrectly.


    In 2017 7800 complainants-less than 20% found in favor of tenant
    Of the 800,000 RSO units less than 0.195 % that is 1 out of 513 units WE DO NOT HAVE AN ENFORCEMENT PROBLEM

    On the other hand City Council passed RecycLA without a rate sheet

    Rent control is is capped at CPI or 3% ( very poor indicator of costs running a building good for buying a coat

    Los Angeles CPI last year 7.8%

    This is basic math !!!!!!!!!!!

  11. Terry July 2, 2018 at 4:18 pm - Reply

    When will we have the results from court for this lawsuit?

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