On the Agenda: Exemptions for Up to 1,000 RSO Units

On Beverly Hills City Council’s Tuesday agenda is a consequential proposal to exempt all duplexes and owner-occupied 3-unit and 4-unit buildings from rent stabilization. That could mean more than 1,100 renting households lose tenant protections like a cap on annual rent increases and relocation fees. We argued against exemptions but Council seems disposed to at least some kind of exemption.

An exemption would do away with the entire application of the Beverly Hills rent stabilization ordinance because that’s what an exemption is: no cap on the maximum allowed annual rent increase and relocation fees disappear too. Moreover, any new habitability standard would not apply. Read the agenda and the city’s staff report for more details.

In sum, what is proposed is a blanket exemption for duplexes and an exemption for triplexes and maybe fourplexes if an owner lives there. That means the owner moves in if he is not resident there today; or he moves in a relative. Either would trigger an exemption. Exemption of this scale could be a blatant carve-out for up to 15% of the city’s 7,700 rental apartments. That’s why the landlords are pushing hard for it: freedom from rent control finally!

We think that no tenant should suffer disparate treatment under our rent stabilization ordinance simply because he lives next door to his landlord.
And that’s why the tenants’ committee position paper has come out so strongly against an exemption.

We’re heading into the final months of the policy process. We don’t know how councilmembers will react to the proposal, but at Tuesday’s meeting we will get a sense of where each elected representative stands.

Join us on Tuesday after 7 p.m. in Council Chambers at City Hall. Contact me with any questions you have about