It is the fall of 2018 and we are rapidly approaching the two-year mark in the ongoing rent stabilization policy process. Recall that in January 2017 City Council adopted an urgency ordinance to create new protections for Chapter 6 tenants (and enhance certain protections for Chapter 5). Read more about that on our policy recap page.
After the (interim) rent stabilization ordinance changes were finalized by late spring, City Council then proceeded on two tracks: a facilitator was hired to conduct tenant-landlord ‘dialogues’ (read our recaps); and changes were made in the rent stabilization program. For the latter, a rental unit registry was created; an RSO office was staffed; and a consultant was hired to study the issue of rent stabilization and how it applies in Beverly Hills.
The consultant’s findings were presented in a series of memos and presentations (which we’ve posted for convenient review) prior to a second round of facilitated dialogues in the summer of 2018. Those dialogues are presented on the city’s Rent Stabilization website. Importantly the consultant also provided a series of policy options to guide City Council’s process as it revisits the current (interim) provisions of the rent stabilization ordinance this fall.
As of early October the consultant, HR&A Advisors, has presented a finalized series of memos which are packaged with a staff report for a special City Council study session on October 11th. That brings us up to date. What are the next steps?
Next Steps: Getting to a Final Ordinance
City Council has agreed to hold two special study sessions to work though eight key issues: October 11th at 7 p.m. and October 18th at 10 a.m. The eight topics include:
- Allowed annual rent increases
- No-just-cause tenancy terminations
- Relocation fees
- Habitability standards
- Exemptions from rent stabilization for smaller rental properties
- Rent adjustment application process
- Rent banking (saving allowed but unused increases for later years)
- Ellis Act applicability in Beverly Hills
Each topic is sufficiently complex to warrant an extended discussion and Council has budgeted time for two sessions plus at least one additional wrap-up session to work through a final rent stabilization ordinance. Mayor Gold has indicated keen interest in wrapping this up quickly. However we believe that there are too many ancillary considerations to act in haste however much we want to put this process to bed.
The agenda for the first study session shows no particular format for the meeting. That suggests something along the lines of the last consultant’s presentation to City Council (and memorialized in a series of presentation videos): a walk-through of the issue and the options followed by discussion time. (The second round dialogues proceeded in the same fashion.)
The study session is intended to allow the public to express concerns and comment on the topics and the proposed policy options. Renters Alliance strongly suggests you attend the first evening study session. Be sure to watch the presentation that is relevant to any issue you care about. If you have any questions please get in touch with Renters Alliance.
Have a look at the Renters Alliance tenant policy positions and consider in detail what kind of protections tenants in Beverly Hills deserve.
We cannot emphasize it enough: the city at this point needs informed and specific feedback from tenants rather than an anecdotal account however important it may be. If you have a concern about your landlord or have had a negative experience please share it with Renters Alliance or the Rent Stabilization Program office at (310) 285-1031 (or by email).
For the latest news keep an eye on our email newsletter (sign-up if you have not) and visit the Renters Alliance homepage for the latest news about this extended and elaborated rent stabilization policy process.