Stop Work Order at 201 South Reeves

When you wake to the sound of a Sunday-morning demolition you might wonder whether the landlord has a permit for that work. But when your landlord is Dr. Stephen Copen you can rest assured: of course he has no permit! We remembered this lesson when the sledgehammer-and-pickaxe demolition commenced at 8 a.m. That must mean another Copen low-budget, under-the-radar job should meet an untimely end with a stop-work order.

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Rent Stabilization Commissioner Appointments Hit a Snag

City Council created the Rent Stabilization Commission in March to resolve certain tenant-landlord disputes and make recommendations regarding amendments to the rent stabilization ordinance. A total of 29 residents stepped up to apply, including 8 ‘at-large’ applicants (neither a tenant nor landlord). These disinterested at-large members are supposed to balance against the vested interests of tenants and landlords. But what if they’re not disinterested and unbiased after all?

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Culver City Adopts an Interim Rent Control Ordinance

Culver City has adopted an interim rent control ordinance that brings strong tenant protections to a city that had no local tenant protections at all. City Council voted to cap the rent increase at 3% annually; require a relocation fee; and most important agreed to end no-just-cause evictions. Like Beverly Hills, Culver City recognized what we can see with our own eyes: runaway rent increases leads to tenant displacement and greater regulation is necessary to ensure the stability of the renting population.

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New RSO Workshops are Scheduled

This Monday, August 12th at 6pm the city will host a rent stabilization workshop specifically for tenants. RSO program staff will provide an overview of the rent stabilization ordinance amendments and discuss next steps in the policy process. But tenants need more than a high-level overview; we need help with our problems. Save the date and join us at City Hall with your own tough questions for city rent stabilization officials!

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Double Funding for Bet Tzedek Legal Services for Tenants!

Housing rights legal services provider Bet Tzedek starts the new fiscal year with a 100% bump-up in funding to provide more extensive tenant and senior housing legal services to Beverly Hills residents. Great news because eviction actions are on the rise. But the funding almost didn’t happen when City Council balked at spending $220,000. Cedars Sinai stepped in to save the day with a one-time matching grant.

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Who Applied for the Rent Stabilization Commission?

Beverly Hills created the Rent Stabilization Commission earlier this year to advise City Council about future amendments to the rent stabilization ordinance. It underscored our Council’s commitment to rent stabilization in general and to the rent stabilization ordinance in particular. Now comes the hard work of standing up the new commission! With interviews proceeding this week, who is in the running?

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Landlord’s Lawsuit to Block RSO is Dismissed

State Superior Court judge Hon. Mary Strobel has dismissed landlord Hank Dayani’s lawsuit to block the city’s registration of rental units. Dayani himself petitioned for the dismissal. Back in 2017 he requested from the court a temporary injunction citing numerous grounds, claiming that the registration program runs afoul of state law and also alleging harm to him and his tenants from the requirement. With a trial set for August 15th and little hope of prevailing, the plaintiff evidently concedes the city’s program is lawful after all.

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Mills Act for Multifamily Preservation Picks Up Steam

Mayor John Mirish has been preservation-minded when it comes to multifamily rental properties. Toward that end he has championed the state’s Mills Act tax-incentive program: give an owner a break on his property tax and contractually bind him to investing in the restoration and rehabilitation of the property. His initiative is picking up steam!

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UK Considers Outlawing No-Just-Cause Evictions

Does this sound familiar? “Housing campaigners have hailed a groundbreaking shift for tenants’ rights after the government announced plans to scrap ‘no-fault evictions,’” reports The Guardian. Tenants groups called it “the biggest overhaul for renters in a generation.” It should sound familiar: six months ago Beverly Hills ended no-just-cause termination for many of the same reasons: abusive business practices amid a housing crisis.

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RSO Commission’s Agenda: Ordinance Recommendations

City Council created the Rent Stabilization Commission but left open the question of what the commission will do. Originally it would adjudicate ‘disruptive’ tenant terminations and mediate habitability disputes (and more). But last month City Council decided that commissioners should first discuss changes to the rent stabilization ordinance. A straw poll among councilmembers provided some focus for that discussion.

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