L.A. County Board of Supervisors Introduces Plan to Protect Commercial Tenants

















By Francisco Arvizu, Assistant Director, South LA Eco-Lab Displacement Avoidance Project

July 9, 2024

During today’s Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors Meeting, Supervisors Hilda Solis (SD1) and Holly Mitchell (SD2) introduced a motion titled “Ensuring Economic Protections for Small Businesses and Nonprofits in Los Angeles County.” This motion represents a great first step in protecting Los Angeles’ commercial tenants from rent gouging and displacement. 

Since February, SAJE has met with more than 300 commercial tenants as part of our Displacement Avoidance Plan for the South L.A. Eco-Lab project, canvassing a 3.9-mile area in the heart of South Central Los Angeles. The vast majority of these tenants are low-income immigrants and first-time entrepreneurs who speak a language other than English. Their businesses are an important part of the community fabric, creating jobs and ensuring quick and easy access to food, groceries, medicine, clothing, and other essentials. But because they lack tenant protections, these commercial tenants are struggling with eviction and displacement due to sudden, exorbitant rent hikes, building code violations and inadequate repairs, confusing leases, and a lack of access to affordable legal advice and representation.

The motion put forth by Supervisors Solis and Mitchell proposes to:

  • Create policy for relocation assistance if tenants are driven out by exorbitant rent raises
  • Develop a “model lease” template 
  • Implement a Legacy Business Registry Program that could provide free legal advice and representation
  • A report back on any policies that could be enacted to combat rent-gouging
  • A report back on creating minimum healthy and safety standards for commercial tenants

Small businesses and nonprofits that rent need critical protections in order to survive and continue serving their communities. We strongly support this motion, which will begin the important work of strengthening commercial tenant protections in Los Angeles County.