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East LA tenants will march for rent control protections Thursday

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Renters in unincorporated LA County currently have none

For rent sign in LA Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

Renters in East LA are planning a march Thursday to demand rent control protections in unincorporated areas of LA County.

The Los Angeles Center for Community Law and Action, in conjunction with Union de Vecinos and the LA Tenants Union, is organizing the event. Leading the marchers will be Roberto Perez and Carolina Rodriguez, two East LA renters who challenged a 63 percent rent increase in court—and won. A jury decided the rent increase wasn’t justified, as the unit was “uninhabitable.”

Noah Grynberg, co-director of the center for community law and action, tells Curbed that situations like the one that Perez and Rodriguez found themselves in are far too common just outside the city limits. While several cities in the county of Los Angeles, including the city of Los Angeles, have rent control, unincorporated areas such as East LA, do not.

“The current legal framework is not enough to protect tenants in unincorporated parts of LA county from massive unaffordable and unjustifiable rent increases,” Grynberg says.

Tenant protections he’d like to see include items like a cap on annual rent increases and a “just cause” provision, ensuring that landlords can’t arbitrarily evict tenants who haven’t violated the terms of their lease. These items make up the backbone of current rent control laws in the city of LA.

The march will begin at Olvera Plaza at 12:30 p.m. and continue to the Temple Street offices of County Supervisor Hilda Solis, who represents East LA.

“Our hope is that after Thursday, [Solis] will recognize the need to meet with tenants who are being impacted negatively by the kind of investor conduct that we’ve been describing ... and create legislation that will protect tenants in the future,” Grynberg says.