Tenants Things You Should Know: A Beverly Hills Community Education Workshop

On February 24th staff from Beverly Hills housing rights legal services provider Bet Tzedek and from the rent stabilization division presented the fifth and latest in a series of community education workshops. This virtual workshop focused on the local and state protection from eviction due to nonpayment of rent which is available to households affected by COVID-19; and the new State Rent Assistance Program. Here’s our recap.

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Beverly Hills RSO to Hold Tenant ‘Legal Training’

Join representatives from tenant legal services provider Bet Tzedek and staff from the Beverly Hills rent stabilization division for a virtual ‘Rent Stabilization Tenant Legal Training’ on Wednesday, February 24th at 6 p.m. This latest community education workshop should address the recent COVID-19 Tenant Relief Act legislation that extends protection against eviction for nonpayment of rent through June.

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[latest news update]

City of Beverly Hills has contacted rent-stabilized tenants with an Eviction Moratorium Update concerning state protections under SB 91 (Covid–19 Tenant Relief Act). The document briefly highlights the differences between the local moratorium protection and the state protection. We have covered these differences in more detail in our post: How the COVID–19 Tenant Relief Act Affects You. We call attention to it here because this issue can affect any residential tenant in Beverly Hills (including those occupying a rented condominium or a single-family home) and those tenants may not have been contacted by the city.

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City Council Puts the Term Limits Question to Voters in 2022

This week Beverly Hills city council in a 3–2 split vote agreed to put the question of term limits to voters at the June 7, 2022 municipal election. Pending voter approval of the ballot initiative, the city will enact a three-term, lifetime limit for elected positions of city council and treasurer. And terms already served would count against the three-term limit. Moreover term limits would appy to current elected officials too.

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Moratorium on Spectrum Rate Hikes? We Tried!

In mid-March broadband provider Spectrum raised the price of my cable package by 7%. It was well into the pandemic and the economic damage from the shutdown was already biting. City council had enacted the moratorium on eviction for non-payment and was considering a moratorium on rent increases too. Could we take a stand against Spectrum for heartlessly jacking-up the cost of our only lifeline?

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Expect a Post-Moratorium Double Rent Increase This Year

Among the COVID protections extended to rent-stabilized households in Beverly Hills is a moratorium on rent increases. Nearly a year later all have probably escaped a rent increase. Before you pocket that rent savings know that once the moratorium is lifted you could see a double rent increase. The moratorium allows it. Landlords could take it. And if they do tenants lose some benefit from the moratorium.

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Next Up at the RSO Commission: Relocation Fees

Beverly Hills City council tasked the Rent Stabilization Commission with discussing the relocation fee that is currently required when a tenancy is involuntarily terminated. What is an appropriate fee? Should mom-and-pop landlords or owner-occupiers be exempt from having to pay the relocation fee? The many questions continue as the Rent Stabilization Commission debates relocation fees for a third time at the next meeting. Here’s what you need to know.

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More County Tenant Protections: Unauthorized Occupants and Buyouts

County of Los Angeles Supervisors in early January adopted a resolution that provide tenants with new protections during the COVID pandemic emergency. In addition to limiting landlord access except in cases of emergency and protecting tenants from harassment, the Supervisors have expanded the county rental assistance program too. But there’s more: protection for unauthorized occupants and from pressure to accept a cash-for-keys buyout. Let’s take a look!

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LA County Protects Tenants from Non-Emergency Landlord Access

Los Angeles County enacted in early January a provision in its COVID emergency order to prohibit the landlord from accessing a rented dwelling except to perform emergency repairs or to prevent a tenant from damaging the premises. No other access is allowed under the revised order. For the duration of the emergency the county also identifies as harassment any landlord behavior intended to intimidate a tenant into granting access. Let’s take a closer look at this provision.

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City Council Approves Higher Solid Waste Rates

Beverly Hills city council this week agreed to raise the refuse charge paid by multifamily customers to take care of solid waste collection and alley maintenance. Beginning in January 2022, multifamily rates will rise every year to double by 2025. The alley maintenance charge will rise by 170%. These rate hikes will culminate in a per-apartment charge of $66 per month which can be passed-through to tenants if the lease allows. It’s a steep hike that has multifamily customers shouldering the biggest burden.

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Proposed Solid Waste Rate Increase Returns to City Council [Updated]

City council last month considered whether to impose a steep rate hike for solid waste and alley maintenance. The proposed rate schedule would have raised rates much more steeply for multifamily customers than for single-family. We questioned the fairness of it and especially the regressive structure of the alley fee. Surprisingly, city council agreed to send it back to staff for additional analysis. Now it comes back to council but multifamily will get no break.

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