After over a year of debate, the Los Angeles City Council agreed unanimously that landowners can pass off half of the cost of retrofitting buildings on to tenants. They can pass off these costs by increasing rents over a 10-year period with a maximum increase of $38 per month.

This follows the decision of the county to adopt a law requiring 15,000 buildings - brittle concrete buildings and wood frame apartment complexes with weak first floors - across Los Angeles to be retrofitted. Though a deal has been agreed upon, both sides are now nervous about unexpected price surges:

With the cost-sharing debate resolved, the issue becomes how the retrofit laws will be implemented in the coming months. Tenant and owner groups worry that a sudden demand for thousands of mandatory retrofits will create price surges for qualified structural engineers and construction contractors.

Read More