Pass-Throughs and Surcharges: What You Need to Know

City of Beverly Hills allows the landlord to pass-through to tenants certain costs of doing business such as refuse collection and alley maintenance. And if the city hits the landlord with a penalty using too much water then the landlord can pass along 90% of that expense too. Longtime tenants may also pay for the landlord’s new roof, a paint job and even seismic retrofit because those capital expenses can be passed-through. Let us explain!

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The Voters Have Spoken! Our Wrap-Up of Election 2022

The 2022 Beverly Hills municipal election is behind us and the voters have spoken: incumbents Lester Friedman and John Mirisch will return to City Council. They will be joined by Sharona Nazarian — a lesser-known city commissioner who nevertheless came within six votes of besting front-runner incumbent Friedman. Competition for the third available council seat was stiff too: in a large field of candidates Mirisch managed to hold off fellow incumbent Wunderlich by 74 votes — a margin of only one third of one percent — while former planning commissioner Andy Licht put in a respectable showing for fifth place. Let’s look at the results.

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RSO Commission Recommends No Change in the Max Rent Increase

The Rent Stabilization Commission at its July meeting discussed a recommendation to City Council that could amend the rent stabilization ordinance to allow certain pass-through charges and make a potential adjustment to the way the maximum allowable annual rent increase is calculated. Commissioners agreed to recommend an 8% cap on the annual rent increase for all rent-stabilized households in Beverly Hills and deferred action on pass-throughs until August. It was another circuitous and frustrating discussion in the commission’s marathon effort to work though the fundamental concepts behind the rent stabilization ordinance.

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Confusion Persists About the Maximum Allowable Annual Rent Increase

The Beverly Hills Rent Stabilization Commission at the July meeting discussed what should be the maximum allowable annual rent increase and agreed to recommend that it be capped at 8% for all rent-stabilized households — which is the percentage cap in place today for longtime Chapter 5 tenants. Reporting on the commission’s recommendation has generated some confusion over what it might mean in terms of rent hikes for coming years. Let’s talk about the cap and more generally about indexing the rent increase to inflation and put it all into the context of the recent City Council decision to allow a 3.1% increase this year.

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County Moratorium Continues No-Fault Eviction Protection (Except for Landlord Use)

Beverly Hills rent-stabilized households lost an important eviction protection when the moratorium expired: starting June 1st a tenancy could be terminated for redevelopment, remodeling, condo conversion, or any reason enumerated in the Beverly Hills rent stabilization ordinance. Households that rent a single-family home or condominium in Beverly Hills have it worse: they can be evicted for any reason or no reason at all with only 60 days notice. These households generally have no protection under local or state law. However the Los Angeles County moratorium does put such no-fault evictions on hold through December of 2022 although with one caveat: landlords can still move-in a relative. Let’s take a closer look at the county moratorium protection.

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How Much Can My Landlord Bill Me for Trash Pickup? [Updated]

City of Beverly Hills allows residential multifamily landlords to pass through to tenants the bimonthly cost of refuse collection and alley maintenance charged by the city. As of fiscal year 2022-23 those costs can add $40.36 to the monthly rent if passed-through by the landlord. And the landlord can pass it through unless the rental agreement explicitly says that the landlord will pay for refuse. While some tenants already pay for refuse, many more will be surprised to learn that an unexpected $40 can be added to the rent for a basic service like trash collection that should come with the housing.

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RSO Commission to Discuss the Rent Increase Cap and Allowable Pass-Throughs

The Rent Stabilization Commission at its regular July 6th meeting will revisit an issue that will concern every Beverly Hills rent-stabilized household: potential future amendments to the rent stabilization ordinance relating to the maximum allowable annual rent increase and and the charges that may be passed-through to tenants. Each can make a difference in the amount of rent we pay but affect the price of housing in very different ways. Let’s take a look at what’s on the commission’s agenda and how it may affect tenants.

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County Moratorium: New Protection from Eviction for Low-Income Households

The Los Angeles County moratorium protection against eviction for nonpayment of rent is back in effect. As of July 1, 2022 low-income renting households may delay the payment of rent if they are unable to pay rent due to COVID by filing a declaration with the landlord. The landlord must accept the declaration and no documentation is necessary. This will come as a relief to households financially impacted by COVID yet were left out on a limb after City of Beverly Hills sunset our residential tenant moratorium on May 31st. But the county moratorium offers additional protections too. Let’s take a look.

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Library Moves to Collect Old Fines Days Before Discontinuing Overdue Fines

Beverly Hills library collects a fine of 25¢ for each day that an adult book, CD or DVD is overdue. Those quarters add up and some households are in debt. Now the city is serious about collecting. Last week borrowers in arrears received an emailed notice threatening to refer that debt to a collection agency…with only ten days notice and an additional 40% added for referring it to collections. Libraries around the country have discontinued overdue fines and — wait for it! — so has our library as of July 1st. So why put the strong-arm on households in the 11th hour?

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City Council: No Change to Limited 3.1% Rent Increase…For Now

City Council at last night’s meeting made no change in the current arrangement that allows landlords of rent-stabilized units to demand up to 3.1% more rent starting in July. But the rent hike only affects about one-quarter of renting households — those that did not pay a rent increase during the 2019–20 fiscal year. Most households wouldn’t see a rent increase at all until next July. Some hidden hand in City Hall was behind the RSO office’s effort to expand that rent increase to all renting households, but after an extended discussion to nearly 2 am Council didn’t go along. Here’s the story.

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What is the Means-Tested Housing Assistance Program?

Beverly Hills rent-stabilized households recently received in the mail a notice that City Council will be discussing ‘CPI Index and Means Tested Housing Assistance Program’ at the Tuesday June 21st evening meeting. In a prior post we explained the ‘CPI Index’ discussion item. The housing assistance refers to a proposed program to provide limited financial assistance to tenants and landlords. Most households won’t understand this aspect of the notice. Let Renters Alliance explain….

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