Effective July 15, 1998, the city of Los Angeles City Council approved Ordinance 172,109, establishing the Systematic Code Enforcement Program. The Systematic Code Enforcement Program mandates that the city of Los Angeles inspect residential dwellings with two or more units every three years. The purpose of SCEP is to ensure that residential dwellings are maintained free of any issues relating to life and safety, or general habitability.
What is REAP?
The Rent Escrow Account Program (REAP) is an enforcement program managed by the Los Angeles Housing Department, enforcing code violations based on orders. The REAP program forces an owner to bring the property into compliance, with consequences including but not limited to rent reductions to your tenants, REAP administrative fees, and a cloud on the property title.
REAP vs Code Enforcement
Even though the REAP program and the Code Enforcement program can work hand in hand, they are two different programs. The REAP program is an administrative enforcement process, and is a consequence of non-compliance with housing codes identified by an inspection conducted by the Housing and Community Investment Department of Los Angeles. The consequences an owner can face through the REAP program are financial and property related only. The Code Enforcement program, however, can lead to criminal consequences. If you violate Code Enforcement requirements, your case can be sent to the REAP program, as well as to the City Attorney for possible criminal charges. A property owner can go to jail for failure to maintain their property in a safe and habitable condition.