Groups aim to raise awareness of renters' rights in rent controlled areas such as Boyle Heights

BOYLE HEIGHTS, LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- Rent in Southern California is notoriously high, especially in areas undergoing gentrification such as Boyle Heights.

Alma Salcido lives in one of the areas 16,000 rent-controlled units. Her landlord recently offered her money if she evicted because he wanted to sell the property.

She said she knows her rights and is fighting to stay in her home.

She is one of about a dozen walkers who joined Los Angeles City Councilman Jose Huizar Thursday for the Know Your Rent Control Rights campaign. They went door-to-door to educate renters about their rights.

Many of them weren't aware that they were protected. About 75 percent of Boyle Heights residents are renters and about 90 percent of them are protected against high-rent increases by the Rent Stabilization Ordinance, or RSO.

"Under rent control, your rent can only go up 3 percent a year. Sometimes landlords skirt that and say, 'Hey, they're not going to know' and 'I'll raise it a little bit more' maybe 5, 10, 15 percent, and this market could be a whole lot more than that," Huizar said.

The median rent in Los Angeles has climbed from $2,264 in 2010 to $2,919 in September of this year, according to real estate firm Zillow.

For Boyle Heights, the median rent jumped from $1,632 to $2,336 in that same period of time.

Salcido said renters have to fight back and stand up for their rights.

The organization's goal is to educate every single resident in Boyle Heights about their renters' rights.
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