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 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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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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Tenant Advocates Spring Into Action with a Call for Rent Relief

Renters Alliance sees the COVID-19 relief promised to taxpayers and businesses as wanting. Taxpayers get a one-time payment of $1,200 per adult and $500 per child and some who need it won’t even get it. But businesses (including apartment landlords) already get plenty of tax breaks and now they’ll get more while small landlords lose out. If tenants and landlords can agree on one thing it is that providing relief to tenants will provide relief to landlords too.

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Tenants Suffer as City Stays Mum on the Revised Moratorium Ordinance

Five days have elapsed since Beverly Hills enacted a revised moratorium on eviction for non-payment of rent. Yet we have not heard a word about it from the city: no update to the rent stabilization website, no email announcing it, and no guidance for tenants who cannot pay the rent due to COVID-19. Landlords will take advantage of that information vacuum and tenant uncertainty and anxiety will result. Here’s one example courtesy of landlord Elm Enterprises, LLC.

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Beverly Hills Earns an ‘A’ Grade in This Coronavirus Crisis

Coronavirus has challenged local governments in a way that no public health emergency has before. We see a cascade of executive orders and urgency ordinances that have shuttered businesses, prohibited gatherings and tried to cushion the impact of an economic shutdown in response to this insidious threat. The most surprising: a sweeping embrace of the eviction moratorium. Beverly Hills Mayor John Mirisch has ensured that our city was among the earliest in the Southland to step up with one. He deserves an ‘A’ grade in a crisis.

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Demystifying Local Emergency Parking Restrictions

City council discussed suspending certain street parking regulations during the local state of emergency. And the city has a very helpful coronavirus webpage where there is a brief blurb about parking guidance posted. But that guidance is too general to be of much help when we are talking about violations that come with penalties among the highest in the Southland. I dug into the city’s website to nail down the details but didn’t realize it would be such a time-consuming challenge.

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Election 2020: Takeaways from the Preliminary Election Results

The votes keep rolling in! Twice-weekly Los Angeles County, our election administrator, posts revised vote totals. With votes remain yet be counted we are confident we have two winners — and both are incumbents. Councilmembers Lili Bosse and Julian Gold will serve another 4-year term beyond the nine years each has already served. That means stability for at least two years when three council seats will be up for grabs in the 2022 election. Here’s our preliminary take on the numbers.

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Renters Alliance Endorses Lili Bosse

Vote by mail ballots for the March 3rd city council election became available this week so it seems like a good time to announce our endorsement. Renters Alliance enthusiastically supports incumbent Lili Bosse for Beverly Hills city council. She has served our city well as planning and traffic commissioner and now, after two terms on city council, she has earned our support. Residents who rent housing in particular will know that Bosse has been there when we needed her. We feel that in this election there is simply no better choice than Lili Bosse, who recognizes the value, and the concerns, of those who rent in our city.

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On the March 2020 Ballot: Uncertainty!

The upcoming Beverly Hills city council election will be a departure from the past. Changes include new vote-by-mail ballots, new ballot-marking devices, and even an 11-day window to cast a ballot. The biggest change though is the consolidated election. For the first time our local contest will share the ballot with the statewide primary and some voters will be surprised. In addition to the five declared city council candidates we can be sure that uncertainty, too, will be on the Beverly Hills ballot!

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