No Excuses for Unprofessional Management

We hear a lot about the proverbial ‘mom-and-pop’ owner-operators of rental housing. They are hailed as hard-working, upstanding community members have scrimped and saved simply to have a ’nest egg’ on which they can fall back in retirement. But anecdotal accounts suggest they are also our least-professional operators. Here’s a snapshot of those poor practices.

Read more

Time for a Systematic Housing Inspection Program!

Worn carpets, low-amp juice, and clogged drains are familiar to tenants living in older buildings. The law requires nothing better, only that premises be “fit for the occupation of human beings.” But who checks? Our complaint-driven enforcement system makes every tenant a non-deputized housing inspector. We need a systematic housing inspection program and we need it now.

Read more

Rent Commission Application is Problematic for Tenants

City Council created a new Rent Stabilization Commission in April and applications are now being accepted. There are nine seats total and one third of them are designated for tenants including two voting members and an alternate member. The application window closes May 24th. Let’s look at some problems with application for the Rent Stabilization Commission application as posted on the website.

Read more

309–325 South Elm: An Epitaph for Middle-Income Rental Housing

Moderate-income households take it on the chin in today’s tight rental housing market. Demand for rental apartments is rising as high housing costs push families to rent. Our region is attracting well-educated workers with higher salaries and they need housing. Yet Beverly Hills has not meaningfully increased the supply of apartments over decades. This is how these dynamics play out to our disadvantage in Beverly Hills.

Read more

Tenants Should Not Depend on a Tarp to Keep Dry

The city has identified two objectives for rent stabilization: to enhance the stability of renting households and to maintain and improve rental housing. But when landlords put profit before maintenance neither objective is accomplished: the property declines and prematurely reaches the end of its useful life. And there is no clearer sign of decline than a tarp on the roof!

Read more

City Communications Breakdown: It’s Always the Same!

Last week City Council took a big decision: tenants and landlords will again be a majority on the proposed rent stabilization commission. That is a big deal! The commission will discuss amendments to RSO and later hear appeals from landlords and tenants. Why didn’t we hear about that on the Rent Stabilization Program website? Still posted is the announcement for last week’s Council meeting. Another communications breakdown from City Hall.

Read more

Make the Chapter 6 Maximum Rent Increase Floor-Free!

There are many issues up for consideration at Tuesday’s City Council meeting but among the most important is the proposed 3.5% floor on the maximum allowed annual rent increase. That floor allows a landlord a 3.5% increase even when his actual costs don’t increase much if inflation is low. This is nothing more than a City Council subsidy to landlords. It has to go!

Read more

We Need More From the Rent Stabilization Program

The rent stabilization websites of West Hollywood and Santa Monica are chock-full of news-you-can-use: tenant-specific workshops, archived tenant newsletters, FAQs on topics like pets and security deposits and more. Each city provides a well-organized overview of the rent laws. Why can’t Beverly Hills better communicate with those who rent here?

Read more

Time Heals All Wounds as Landlord’s Assets Values Rise

It is high praise is to be called out by a landlord for being a “zealot” or for orchestrating a “dog-and-pony show” that successfully brought no-just-cause termination to an end in Beverly Hills. We are guilty as charged! But we can take special pride in being the focus of an amateur gumshoe investigation by the Apartment Association of Greater Los Angeles, the “voice of multifamily housing.”

Read more

Do Communists Celebrate Christmas?

Vice-Mayor John Mirisch posted this rhetorical question on Instagram: Do Communists celebrate Christmas? “The Apartment Association of Greater Los Angeles evidently thinks so,” he said. “They sent our mayor a ‘present’ equating our efforts to craft a rent stabilization ordinance with Communism.” This ‘red scare’ tactic is all the more ironic because it invokes religion — an anathema to communists!

Read more