The planning department has a counter at the Department of Building and Safety in Los Angeles and you can just walk to it.
If your question is regarding rent control, that is a little dicey. Yes, you can take the property out of the market for major rehab, but you have to offer it back to the original tenants once is back in the market at original rents +/- any capital improvements amortized over 20 or 30 years... you could take the portion you will occupy permanently from the market, but you will have to pay relocation fees. Well, you would have to pay relocation fees under any scenario. Remember that all of this is negotiable, and if you approach the tenants with a value proposition that makes sense to them and you respect their dignity, they will likely negotiate with you.
Before you do any of this, you should own the property... do you own it?
Ron Escobar, MBA
Broker & General Contractor