Our latest posts

Stop Work Order at 201 South Reeves

When you wake to the sound of a Sunday-morning demolition you might wonder whether the landlord has a permit for that work. But when your landlord is Dr. Stephen Copen you can rest assured: of course he has no permit! We remembered this lesson when the sledgehammer-and-pickaxe demolition commenced at 8 a.m. That must mean another Copen low-budget, under-the-radar job should meet an untimely end with a stop-work order.

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Landlord Seminars: A Gear in the Organizing Machine

The great advantage that landlords have over tenants is professional organizing. They pay dues to support industry associations at the national, state, regional and local levels which then mobilize to beat back rent control in city halls. Associations find common cause with the constellation of landlord service providers, as I was reminded when I saw an upcoming seminar promoted by the Apartment Association of Greater Los Angeles. They work together to keep tenants perennially on the defensive.

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Rent Stabilization Commissioner Appointments Hit a Snag

City Council created the Rent Stabilization Commission in March to resolve certain tenant-landlord disputes and make recommendations regarding amendments to the rent stabilization ordinance. A total of 29 residents stepped up to apply, including 8 ‘at-large’ applicants (neither a tenant nor landlord). These disinterested at-large members are supposed to balance against the vested interests of tenants and landlords. But what if they’re not disinterested and unbiased after all?

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City Requires This Outdated Handbook Be Provided to Tenants

The Tenant Landlord Rights & Responsibilities Handbook is an 8-page paper and online document that outlines key aspects of state and local tenancy law. It is a helpful document and required reading for tenants before they sign a lease. In fact landlords must provide it. But the Handbook hasn’t been updated in a year despite important amendments to the rent stabilization ordinance. Why can’t the city get this right?

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Our Recap of the First Tenant RSO Workshop

On Monday City of Beverly Hills held its first ever rent stabilization workshop specifically for tenants. We pressed for a tenant-only workshop because tenants and landlord have different concerns (not to mention responsibilities) even though we contract with each other under what we’ve called a ‘layer cake’ of tenancy law. This workshop was a big improvement over past workshops. Here’s our recap.

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Culver City Adopts an Interim Rent Control Ordinance

Culver City has adopted an interim rent control ordinance that brings strong tenant protections to a city that had no local tenant protections at all. City Council voted to cap the rent increase at 3% annually; require a relocation fee; and most important agreed to end no-just-cause evictions. Like Beverly Hills, Culver City recognized what we can see with our own eyes: runaway rent increases leads to tenant displacement and greater regulation is necessary to ensure the stability of the renting population.

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How Does Beverly Hills Compare on the Rent Increase Cap?

Beverly Hills recently posted the maximum allowed annual rent increase percentage for Chapter 6 tenants and we breathed a sign of relief: it has dropped to 3.1% from last year’s 4.1%. That’s because the rise in consumer prices has slowed and, with it, the cost of providing housing. But most localities don’t cap rents and those that do take various approaches even in the same rental market. How does Beverly Hills compare?

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New RSO Workshops are Scheduled

This Monday, August 12th at 6pm the city will host a rent stabilization workshop specifically for tenants. RSO program staff will provide an overview of the rent stabilization ordinance amendments and discuss next steps in the policy process. But tenants need more than a high-level overview; we need help with our problems. Save the date and join us at City Hall with your own tough questions for city rent stabilization officials!

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How Much Can My Landlord Bill Me for Trash Pickup?

The principle behind rent is that a tenant pays for housing with the understanding that the operating costs of rental housing from everyday grounds-keeping to the new roof is borne by the landlord. But not always! Beverly Hills allows a landlord to pass through to his tenants each month certain charges like the entirety of the city’s bill for refuse collection and alley maintenance. How can a tenant be sure she is paying the correct refuse charge?

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