Solid Waste Rate Increase: An Open Letter to City Council

Dear Mayor Friedman and members of the city council: Before you is a recommendation to increase solid-waste rates over five years. A new solid waste collection contract is forcing the city’s hand and we fully expect you to approve the proposed rates. However it should be noted that the rates, if approved, will force multifamily customers to shoulder even more of the burden of covering the city’s residential solid waste collection cost. Here are some observations.

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Beverly Hills COVID-19 Rent Subsidy: What You Need to Know

Beverly Hills city council in September agreed to create a $1 million rent subsidy program to help COVID–19 affected tenants in the city pay the rent. The objective of the program is to provide a measure of stability to tenants in their moment of need. The program is also intended to benefit landlords by providing rental income that might otherwise be delayed due to COVID–19. But the devil is in the details. Here’s how it works.

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Solid Waste Services Rates are Rising and You May Pay

On November 17th city council is poised to sharply increase the cost of solid waste services and alley maintenance. Every landlord pays these charges but some don’t pass the cost on to tenants. That may change: rising rates may prompt landlords to add a surcharge for refuse. As more tenants pay, we will notice just how steeply those costs will rise over the next five years. Let’s take a closer look at the proposed rate increase and see why this is a bad deal for multifamily customers.

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AB 3088 and Tenant Act Preemption: Which Rules Apply?

The Tenant, Homeowner, and Small Landlord Relief and Stabilization Act of 2020 was signed by Governor Newsom at the end of August. Among other things, the legislation establishes a statewide framework for delaying rent due to COVID-19 financial hardship by preempting our local moratorium’s protections. There is also a new process for requesting forbearance and a new deadline for repaying back rent. What does it mean for Beverly Hills tenants? We try to make sense of it!

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Measure RP: Thoughts on the City’s ‘Tax Payer Protection Act’

Beverly Hills city council has placed on the November ballot a measure to conditionally add three-quarters of one percent to the sales tax IF Los Angeles County voters at some point in the future approve any increase. Dubbed by city council as the ‘Beverly Hills Tax Payer Protection Act,’ Measure RP would put our city a step ahead of the county by grabbing the resulting revenue. But the measure raises some questions about equity. In this time of unprecedented stress on county health and homelessness services, is it fair to put Beverly Hills first?

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Proposition 15: Yes to Funding for Communities and Schools

We support Proposition 15 on this November’s ballot because it would right an egregious wrong when voters passed Proposition 13 in 1978. That measure was sold on the premise it would limit property-tax increases for older homeowners. But the ballot measure did not distinguish between commercial and residential property, which allowed commercial property investors to surf the cresting wave of tax-revolt in California to a big score. Commercial property owners saw tax assessments rolled-back to 1975 levels and annual increases capped at 2%. It was a gift that’s been giving for four decades. Proposition 15 would force owners of commercial property to pay their fair share while shielding residential property owners from big increases.

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Renters Alliance Endorses Proposition 21

On the November ballot is Proposition 21, “The Rental Affordability Act.” Every tenant should support this ballot measure because it will roll back many, though not all, of the limits on rent control adopted by our landlord-friendly legislature in Sacramento. Nearly every pro-tenant bill each session is shot down by legislators who are not tenants and don’t understand tenant concerns. This by-the-people initiative bypasses the legislature to amend key sections of landlord-tenant law with rental affordability as the top priority. (Heck, it’s right there in the name.) Renters Alliance urges a YES vote on Prop 21!

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Trump’s Executive Order: Too Little for Tenants, and Late Too

The president of the United States on August 8th signed an executive order “to minimize, to the greatest extent possible, residential evictions and foreclosures during the ongoing COVID–19 national emergency.” The rationale was to prevent the “further spread of COVID–19,” but the order didn’t specify any measure to stem the expected wave of evictions. Namely there was no actual prohibition on eviction for non-payment and no provision for subsidies to help tenants. So what did this executive order accomplish exactly?

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Beverly Hills OKs $1M Rent Subsidy Program

Beverly Hills tenants who have been affected by COVID–19 may find relief in a new city rent subsidy program. First proposed two years ago as a general subsidy for rent-burdened tenants, the refashioned program is scoped-down in reach but scaled-up in benefit. City council at its September 15th meeting agreed to throw as much as $1 million toward rent-relief program to provide $1,000 for at least three months to tenants affected by COVID–19 measures. While tenants seeking relief will likely have to wait a month to get it, we do know something about program particulars.

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