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Renters Alliance Position on Mandatory Rent Repayment Plans: A Bad Idea!

City council will discuss modifying the urgency ordinance to possibly implement something like a mandatory rent-repayment plan for tenants who seek forbearance of rent due to COVID-19 emergency measures. No other major California city imposes the requirement as a condition for assistance because it means committing the tenant to an additional monthly financial obligation (on top of the regular rent) at a time when economic uncertainty is at its highest. Here are the points I made to city council.

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The Mandatory Rent Repayment Plan: No Good Option for Tenants

Tuesday afternoon city council will consider modifying the urgency ordinance that sets the terms for the moratoriums on eviction for non-payment. The agenda item A–2 is titled ‘Consideration of Modifications to the City’s Urgency Ordinance 20-O–2808.’ We could have missed this important discussion had we not read through each of the five meeting agendas on the council calendar that day. Good thing we noticed: up for discussion is a proposal to make a rent repayment plan mandatory for tenants who delay paying the rent.

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Mandated Moratorium Rent Repayment Plans? A Solution in Search of a Problem!

On Tuesday afternoon’s city council meeting agenda is an item dryly titled, ‘Consideration of Modifications to the City’s Urgency Ordinance 20-O–2808.’ Proposed for council consideration is a major change to the terms of the city’s residential eviction moratorium: A tenant who asks for rent forbearance could have to sign on to a rent repayment plan in order to receive it. Here’s why that is a solution in search of a problem!

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The Beverly Hills Carbon Footprint: By the Numbers

The coronavirus stay-at-home order has upended daily living for millions in the Southland. Beyond the implications for public health and the economy, hitting the pause button has put in relief the toll that our collective lifestyle choices take on the environment. But that’s so abstract, isn’t it? Two academics looked in greater detail at those choices by zip code and used that data to generate a ‘carbon footprint’ map for the United States. How do we in Beverly Hills compare?

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City Council Tweaks the COVID-19 Emergency Regulations

Beverly Hills city council adopted a new urgency ordinance at the April 21st meeting making several changes to several emergency measures related to COVID–19. The amendments are part of council’s continuing refinement to the city’s response (to which we gave an A grade). Here we review those changes with specific focus on measures that affect tenants.

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Property Maintenance in the Era of COVID: Cleanliness Matters!

Residential rental dwellings must be fit for human habitation and free from ‘dilapidations,’ says California Civil Code section 1941. In part that means “all areas under control of the landlord, kept in every part clean, sanitary, and free from all accumulations of debris, filth, rubbish, garbage, rodents, and vermin.” Not a high bar! But not all landlords live up to that standard and during the COVID-19 pandemic we may see some landlords shirk their responsibility.

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Tenant Advocates Spring Into Action with a Call for Rent Relief

Renters Alliance sees the COVID-19 relief promised to taxpayers and businesses as wanting. Taxpayers get a one-time payment of $1,200 per adult and $500 per child and some who need it won’t even get it. But businesses (including apartment landlords) already get plenty of tax breaks and now they’ll get more while small landlords lose out. If tenants and landlords can agree on one thing it is that providing relief to tenants will provide relief to landlords too.

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CARES Act: An Emergency Assist From Congress for Some Landlords

Congress in March passed H.R. 748, the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act) which extended unemployment benefits for laid-off workers and granted a ‘recovery rebate’ of $1,200 to qualified taxpayers. But there was A LOT more in that federal bag o’ treats, and many — but not all — multifamily housing owners in Beverly Hills may benefit. Let’s take a look at Washington’s largess and the multifamily housing industry’s opportunities for relief under the CARES Act of 2020.

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Tenants Suffer as City Stays Mum on the Revised Moratorium Ordinance

Five days have elapsed since Beverly Hills enacted a revised moratorium on eviction for non-payment of rent. Yet we have not heard a word about it from the city: no update to the rent stabilization website, no email announcing it, and no guidance for tenants who cannot pay the rent due to COVID-19. Landlords will take advantage of that information vacuum and tenant uncertainty and anxiety will result. Here’s one example courtesy of landlord Elm Enterprises, LLC.

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City Council Extends and Enhances Emergency Tenant Protections

After another marathon eight-hour emergency meeting, Beverly Hills city council unanimously agreed to improve our moratorium on eviction for non-payment of rent due to COVID–19 by extending the repayment period from six months to one year AND adding a new protection against Ellis Act eviction. City council also agreed to freeze rent increases, too, so no tenant will see a rent hike while the local emergency is in place.

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Need Rent Forbearance? Beverly Hills May Make it Untenable

City of Beverly Hills this month declared a state of emergency and adopted an eviction moratorium that would put the break on residential evictions for non-payment of rent (and even prevent no-fault evictions when otherwise allowed by law). This Tuesday at 2:30 pm city council will consider revising that moratorium to make it much more burdensome for tenants to qualify for forbearance.

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