How Does Beverly Hills Compare on the Rent Increase Cap?

Beverly Hills recently posted the maximum allowed annual rent increase percentage for Chapter 6 tenants and we breathed a sign of relief: it has dropped to 3.1% from last year’s 4.1%. That’s because the rise in consumer prices has slowed and, with it, the cost of providing housing. But most localities don’t cap rents and those that do take various approaches even in the same rental market. How does Beverly Hills compare?

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Rent Stabilization Commission Applications: Landlords Really Stepped up!

With Rent Stabilization Commission interviews commencing this week we have looked at those who applied. Now we turn our attention to the numbers: specifically the proportion of applicants who stepped up for the tenant, landlord and ‘at-large” categories relative to the number of potential applicants in each category. Which group was most motivated to apply for a commission seat? Landlords!

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Rent Stabilization Fallacy Exhibit B: 9683 West Olympic

In a previous post we followed up on a real estate listing for 169 North Clark Drive that local landlord (and Apartment Association executive director) Dan Yukelson had forwarded to city power brokers. His message was that longtime landlords are forced out of business by rent stabilization. He groused about “over regulation.” And he suggested that rent stabilization makes rental property ownership a losing proposition. That was all fallacy: 169 North Clark is a cash cow property. It was ‘exhibit A’ in rental property ownership ‘upside.’ Here is ‘exhibit B’: 9683 West Olympic.

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Rent Stabilization Fallacy Exhibit A: 169 North Clark

Local landlord Dan Yukelson recently circulated an email to city power brokers that claimed rent stabilization is harming mom-and-pop multifamily property owners in Beverly Hills. “These are ‘long time’ housing providers being forced out of business by over regulation and bad housing policies in Beverly Hills,” it says, and linked to several multifamily properties for sale. So we had a look. The listings don’t support specious claims but instead make the opposite argument: multifamily is still a money-minting business!

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Greatest Threat to Tenants? The Proposed 3.5% Floor

Today is rent day, and that makes it an opportune moment to revisit City Council’s tentative consensus on a 3.5% floor for the maximum allowed annual rent for Chapter 6 tenants. As Councilmember Bob Wunderlich honestly described, this is a straight-up subsidy to landlords. We see it as an unearned bonus. Let’s take a look at what the floor is and what it means for tenants that could pay it.

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Good News & Bad News on the Rent Increase

City Council recently discussed the maximum allowed annual rent increase and the good news is that we are keeping it indexed to consumer prices (CPI). A real win for tenants: inflation dictates the increase. The not-so-good news is that Council may agree to a 3.5% floor on the increase. That would give landlords an extra half-percent above the 3% floor today in low-inflation years. Why does Beverly Hills need a floor on the allowed increase at all?

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Proposed Luxury Exemption: Would You Lose Protections?

Beverly Hills City Council first discussed exempting ‘luxury’ rental units from the reach of rent stabilization back in November. About 5% of units by our analysis might fall into that exemption. Subsequently it came back for discussion again in December when a much wider net was cast: as many as one-quarter of units with higher rents in any size category could be affected? How will the luxury exemption affect you?

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Proposed Duplex Exemption: What it Could Mean for Tenants

Since Beverly Hills enacted rent stabilization in 1978 the RSO ordinance has applied to multifamily rental properties of two units or more. A few rental properties escaped its reach, namely condominiums and buildings built after 1995. Now City Council appears ready to categorically exempt many more, including owner-occupied duplexes. It is a major break from precedent with real implications for hundreds of families. Here’s what a duplex exemption means for tenants.

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Landlords Say Tenants Were Happy With RSO!

Landlords claim that we tenants were a happy lot before City of Beverly Hills mucked around with the rent stabilization ordinance. They hardly ever hit us with excessive rent increases, they say, and properties were maintained just fine. No-just-cause eviction was not even a thing, so why fix what wasn’t broke? This latest attempt to roll back tenant protections isn’t fooling anybody: this was a system that did need fixing.

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HR&A Data Brief: An Overview and Some Thoughts

This HR&A rent stabilization analysis has done our city a service. Policymakers, landlords and tenants now have an idea about the character of rental housing stock in Beverly Hills and the tenants who inhabit it. However our city still knows little about those who own it. We have had rent stabilization ordinance on the books for four decades yet the city until recently had no tally of rented units and no idea about ownership. This city’s rental unit registry and the HR&A Advisors study has filled in those gaps.

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