The Los Angeles City Council on Friday voted to move forward with a three-month cap on rate hikes for those who live in rent-controlled apartments. The 8-6 vote sends the ordinance to the City Attorney's office for drafting, with a final vote expected in two weeks.

If passed, the move would keep rent-controlled units at their current rates from July 1 to Oct. 31. Some on the council had argued that the city's high unemployment and struggling economy made such hikes a burden for many working families.

City rent control applies to rental units built before 1978. As it is, landlords are allowed to raise rates a maximum of three percent each year. Those hikes, however, are outpacing the Consumer Price Index, which stands at about zero, meaning some rent-control tenants were seeing rent increases that were higher than the price hikes over most other consumer products.

The council on Friday pushed for an exemption for “mom-and-pop” buildings that have five or less units, although some critics said that loophole would lead to confusion and illegal increases.

-With reporting from City News Service. Got news? Email us.

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