Next Up: Education Workshops and Facilitated Dialogs

To date, implementation of the rent stabilization program here in Beverly Hills is a mixed bag: the registry to track owners, units and tenancies is in progress, and Community Development Department is working with an outside contractor to develop the tools that we need to monitor compliance with our new policies. Public outreach on the rent stabilization policy, on the other hand, has been disappointing. Will Beverly Hills implement a program as robust as Santa Monica, West Hollywood and Los Angeles?

Housing law is friendly terrain for landlords (it’s business after all) but remains a mystery for most residents until we get a 60-day notice or egregious increase. After decades of failing to hold landlords accountable, however, our city is in a position to get this program going right.

The next step in the policy process will be the facilitated dialogs intended to bring tenants and landlords together. This is our opportunity to make the changes we want to see reflected in the rent stabilization policy update. (We are putting our wish list together now. Contact me.)

But the details are as yet unknown. When will the facilitated sessions be conducted? What will be the format?

Update: The city has scheduled four facilitated dialogues starting on July 10th. This is our opportunity to shape the rent stabilization policies that we want. Head over the city’s new rent stabilization webpage to learn more about the series of dialogues.

I will keep you updated. You can keep the Renters Alliance going by sharing with me any problems that you have experienced with any of these issues:

  • Not-just-cause tenancy termination with just 30 (not 60) days notice;
  • Landlord’s refusal to renew your lease upon expiration – or a lease renewal offer that substantially changes the terms of your tenancy;
  • For-cause tenancy termination due to an alleged breach of the rental agreement (such as occupancy by an ‘unauthorized subtenant’ or a guest);
  • Improper unit access by the landlord or some other dispute about landlord access;
  • Unreasonable fees;
  • Burdensome regulations concerning pets or landlords that challenge the legitimacy of emotional support or service animals.

I am especially interested to know if your tenancy has been terminated but you have not been able to secure relocation fees (there are mandated by rent stabilization). Or, have you suffered inhospitable housing from a ‘bad-apple’ landlord?

Which reminds me of a helpful tip you will find nowhere in city policy or city guidance. If your tenancy is terminated not-for-cause, you MUST inform your landlord of the date of your departure AS SOON AS YOU KNOW to lock-in the relocation fees you are owed. Why? Because your landlord can lawfully rescind his notice to vacate even if you have already signed a new lease if you have not yet confirmed your departure. Consider the practical effect: you’re on the hook for the new lease and now you have to leave your unit, but the landlord has yanked the notice before you informed him so now he’s not obligated to pay the fees. Call it ‘involuntary voluntary departure.’ Has that happened to you? Let me know!

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