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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Watch Landlord Stephen Copen Unlawfully Evict His Tenant

Landlord Stephen T. Copen was arrested and booked last Monday by the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s office after forcefully evicting a tenant from his 611 Gayley Avenue property. He was charged with misdemeanor vandalism for tossing his tenant’s property out of the unit and allegedly causing $2k in damage. Not only was this eviction illegal (there was no court order), but it occurred despite the City of LA’s eviction moratorium.

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Courts Can Process Evictions. What Does That Mean for Tenants?

The state policy-making body for the courts decided last week to sunset Emergency Rule #1 that puts the brake on unlawful detainers in Superior Court. The rule is providing immediate relief for tenants with cases in the eviction pipeline. But the greater effect is to prevent tenants from being summoned in such cases. Emergency rule #1 was issued by the Judicial Council in April in response to the pandemic but as of September it goes away even though we’re stuck with the pandemic. What does it mean for tenants?

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California Courts Again Are Open for Eviction Proceedings

Tenants who may have viewed the Superior Court’s pause on evictions as a backstop to our local eviction moratorium should know that eviction cases (and filings) will proceed as of September 1st. An amended rule by the court’s Judicial Council on August 13th imposes a sunset clause on its Emergency rule #1 promulgated in April to pause evictions. It may sound arcane but it augurs some pain for tenants who are at risk of displacement during the pandemic.

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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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