Support and Service Animals: Know Your Rights!

Farm animals like pigs and peacocks may not seem like a good fit for an airplane cabin, yet they would qualify as ‘emotional support’ animals in an apartment under federal rules. Tenants can use federal disability law to to keep the landlord from turning away a pet. Here we take a closer look at the tenant’s options when the landlord doesn’t welcome Fido — or that peacock!

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Tenant’s Challenge: Screening the Landlord

Time and again we hear stories about unprofessional or unscrupulous landlords and their managers. The ones that slow-roll repairs, engage in intimidation and harassment, and improperly withhold deposits. They are a minority of owners, sure, but tenants who do rent from these landlords share a lament: “I wish I had known before I rented.” Can a prospective tenant screen her future landlord?

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Due Diligence on the Landlord: Some Tips

Most tenants don’t need to research the landlord because their relationship is business: the tenant writes the check and the landlord provides properly maintained housing. Every tenancy starts uneventfully and most continue so. But sometimes complications arise and disputes can find the courthouse. When the going gets rough it pays to do some due diligence!

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Major Remodeling: What You Need to Know

A neighbor asked a good question about the ‘major remodeling’ provision of the rent stabilization ordinance: “What if the landlord is giving false information to tenants about remodeling a property just to get us out?” The question is relevant because we are seeing more properties emptied for remodeling and repositioning. But remodeling comes at a cost: tenant displacement. Let’s look at our rights when the landlord wants to remodel.

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Fundamental Concept: Maximum Allowed Annual Rent Increase

Rent control is intended to moderate the increasing cost of rental housing and to enhance the stability of households that rent. Local ordinaces typically include price controls, limited reasons for tenancy termination and regulation of rental housing conditions. Here we look specifically at price control: What does the ‘maximum allowable rent increase’ really mean?

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Interior Habitability: Weak Standard, Few Violations

Is your landlord not keeping up with interior interior maintenance? You are not alone: many longtime tenants in our older buildings can’t get attention from the landlord even as vacant units get the gloss. For good reason: the landlord is not obligated to do much to keep the apartment in the condition it was rented. That’s why Beverly Hills needs a habitability standard!

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