When Culver City passed rent control in 2019, they created a rent registry which would be public record. Attorney Stephen Jones, who serves on the Planning Commission, invoked the California Public Records Act to pull all tenant information from the rent registry. He then aggregated it into an easily accessible format at ccrentals.org.
In response, Council has agendized whether to make this registry protected private information at their July 10th meeting. They’ve also temporarily taken down their registry portal, which allowed anyone to look up rents as well.
We’ll be posting regular updates about the upcoming meeting, and how to make your voice heard, on this page. We did ask councilmembers on their thoughts about the issue. However, the city attorney advised us that they will not be answering, as this could result in a Brown Act violation.
We still encourage everyone to write or call them yourself and tell them your feelings on this issue. You can find their email and phone number here.
We consider this website to be a grave violation of tenants’ privacy rights. We don’t believe anybody expected their rent to become public knowledge. This results in any number of negative consequences:
- Because tenant rent is now public information, it will make it easier for people to determine their income.
- This information can be used by others in legal proceedings. Generally, knowing that someone has to make 2.5x the average monthly rent, you can estimate the monthly income of each home. This can be used in lawsuits including child and spousal support. Judges are known to modify and/or make these calculations for support just based on someone’s living expenses.
- This could also be used by tax agents to verify income tax statements.
- Addresses with the highest rents are also now common knowledge – making an easy database for criminals to target.
There are many ways this does not end well.