Rent Stabilization Commission Seeks a Tenant Representative

City of Beverly Hills is seeking a tenant-representative to fill an announced vacancy on the Rent Stabilization Commission. Formed in 2019 to hear tenant-landlord disputes, the commission was instead directed to consider amendments to the city’s rent stabilization ordinance and to make such recommendations to City Council. Discussions necessarily focus on policy but often touch on more general concerns about rental housing. This is a good opportunity for a tenant to learn about rent stabilization and to have a voice on an issue that affects more than half of all city households.

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Forget Winter – We are in Tarp Season!

Record precipitation hit our region as an ‘atmospheric river’ of water vapor stalled over California. The storm was preceded by a series of advisories from the National Weather Service warning of heavy rain, strong winds, thunderstorms and floods. Some areas saw more than one inch of rain per hour! Indeed the weather folks called last week’s storm the most impressive since 2005. That can present quite a challenge to an old roof!

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Los Angeles County Extends Nonpayment Moratorium Through January

Low-income renting households in Los Angeles County got another reprieve in December courtesy of the Board of Supervisors: the county’s moratorium is extended through January 2023. Renting households that cannot pay full rent due to COVID-related financial hardship are protected from eviction for nonpayment through January; and all renting households are protected from eviction for most no-fault reasons. These are protections that Beverly Hills tenants wouldn’t have without the county’s moratorium. Yet we haven’t heard a word about it from our own city hall.

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Pass-Throughs Back at the RSO Commission for 9th Time

At the January meeting the Rent Stabilization Commission will take a record NINTH swing at crafting a recommendation to City Council concerning pass-through surcharges. In prior meetings commissioners found agreement to limit the cumulatively cost of any pass-throughs plus the maximum allowable annual rent increase to 10% of the base rent. Beyond that outer bound the commissioners have split on nearly every pass-through under consideration. At this meeting commissioners will try to come to some agreement on whether landlords should be able to pass through the cost of seismic retrofit, capital improvements and other major costs; and if so whether both Chapter 5 and Chapter 6 rent-stabilized tenants should pay for it.

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Accessory Dwelling Units Coming to Multifamily Near You!

In recent years the state legislature has taken unprecedented steps to encourage the production of new ‘infill’ housing. Multifamily owners are favored with big incentives to redevelop their property to greater heights. Permitting is streamlined. Local zoning regulations and parking requirements are preempted. It seems like no opportunity was missed to shoehorn new dwellings wherever they may fit. Coming soon to your property: one or more accessory dwelling units carved out of common spaces like the garage, laundry, recreation room or management office. Low construction costs and high rents make it a no-brainer for the landlord. What does it mean for tenants?

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What You Need to Know About the Cheval Blanc Hotel Petition

In November City Council granted approvals for the Cheval Blanc hotel which is proposed to span four parcels between North Beverly Drive and Rodeo Drive south of Santa Monica Boulevard. Four buildings including the former Paley Museum would be replaced by one structure rising nine floors with 115 hotel rooms at an anticipated room rate of $2,000 as befits a luxury hotel with restaurants and a private club (the penthouse asks $30,000 nightly). It’s not a done deal, however, because a petition is circulating to send this project to the voters in a referendum with a Monday deadline. Sign or not sign?

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Today’s Council Agenda: Redevelopment and Tenant Protections

The economics of redevelopment has changed. In the past the city’s zoning code kept a lid on multifamily demolition and redevelopment: density was limited, building heights topped-out at three stories in most multifamily areas, and the required off-street parking made small-scale redevelopment impractical. Sacramento has changed the game with new laws, new incentives, and new limits on local control. In the cross-hairs are the rent-stabilized households who stand to lose their longtime home. What can the city do to protect tenants from displacement?

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One Pass-Through Gets Commission OK, Others TBD

The Rent Stabilization Commission at the December meeting returned to its ongoing discussion about pass-throughs for Beverly Hills rent-stabilized tenants. There was no formal action but commissioners did find consensus on sharing with tenants the cost of the annual $63 per-unit RSO administration fee, and nearly found consensus on a 50–50 cost-share for seismic retrofit. Landlord commissioners scuttled that proposal so that pass-through plus several others will come back for more discussion in December.

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Tonight’s Rent Stabilization Commission Agenda: Pass-Throughs

The question of pass-through surcharges comes back to the Rent Stabilization Commission tonight and on the agenda is a review of current pass-throughs for refuse and water penalties which is applicable to all tenants; and a potential expansion of pass-throughs that could affect 95% of rent-stabilized tenants. Commissioners will discuss individual pass-throughs and may recommend to City Council that the city allow one or more monthly surcharges related to capital expenditures for property improvements; expenditures that are mandated by law (such as seismic retrofit); and a surcharge for additional tenant(s).

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Rent Stabilization Commission Poised to Allow More Pass-Throughs

The Beverly Hills Rent Stabilization Commission at the upcoming December meeting will again focus on pass-through surcharges and commissioners are likely to recommend more of them. To curb the impact, the commission has provisionally agreed to limit the rent increase plus pass-through surcharges to ten percent of the base rent. But that would be a significant increase in housing costs for any renting household. Should more pass-throughs be allowed at a time when asking rents are at record highs? You will have a chance to voice your opinion at the meeting on Wednesday, December 7th at 6pm. Here’s what you need to know and what may happen next.

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County Moratorium Continues Low-Income Tenant Protections Through December

Update for tenants suffering COVID-related financial impact: the County Board of Supervisors has amended the county’s moratorium to continue eviction protections for low-income tenants through December. A court in October had enjoined the county from enforcing protection related to nonpayment of rent, but the county subsequently amended the moratorium in mid-November to address the court’s concern. Protection against eviction is still in effect and will be through December. Let’s look at what it means for tenants.

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