Tarps Keep Tenants Dry When the Roof is Not Maintained

The city has identified two objectives for rent stabilization: to enhance the stability of renting households and to maintain and improve rental housing. But when landlords put profit before maintenance neither objective is accomplished. There is no clearer sign of disinvestment in housing than a tarp on the roof. And it comes at the expense of our community and the apartment houses we call home.

153 Crescent Drive with tarp
This once-lovely center-hall apartment house at 153 South Crescent has seen better days. Back before the bad carriage lamps, ugly brick facade and ungainly balcony, it was a character-contributing property the potential Beverly Vista Historic District. Today is contributes little to the community. Instead it is an example of an income-generating property for yet another absentee owner.

205 Reeves Drive tarp
The building under 205 Reeves needs more than a tarp: it needs overdue maintenance. Behind the main building are back apartments in decline that resemble nothing as much as a stage set for a Tennessee Williams production.

Why does it matter that there are a couple of tarped roofs in the neighborhood? Because it signals the failure to reinvest in our housing stock. Water is the an insidious threat; the problems that follow water damage affect the health, safety and welfare of the residents and the broader community too.

Shouldn’t there be a law against letting a roof so deteriorate that the tarp becomes a semi-permanent fix? These tarps have been up for weeks!

Indeed there is a law against letting the roof deteriorate. California Civil Code (ยง1941.1) requires “effective waterproofing and weather protection of roof and exterior walls.” The Beverly Hills Municipal Code (5-7-4) prohibits exterior building covering conditions that allow water penetration “so as to cause decay, dry rot, warping, or cracking.” Tell that to these owners!

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