City Council Bunts on Residential Moratorium

City Council deferred all decisions on the residential moratorium until sometime February when the impact of the Omicron variant might be better understood. Left unchanged is the tentative sunset date of March 31st and until that time at least the prohibition on eviction for nonpayment and for no-fault remain in force. Rent increases are on hold too. But the discussion suggested how councilmembers are thinking about ending the moratorium — and the costs that tenants may bear for rent increases delayed.

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City Council Will Revisit Local Moratorium Tenant Protections

Beverly Hills City Council on Tuesday will again reconsider whether or not to end moratorium tenant protections. The moratorium on evictions and rent increase may sunset as early as March 31st. For tenants still affected by the pandemic, the prospect of paying full rent, or facing eviction for nonpayment or no-fault, may be cause concern. And all tenants will likely find the prospect of a rent increase significantly higher than 3.9% a worry too.

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RSO Commission OKs Fees, Whiffs on Habitability

The Rent Stabilization Commission has agreed to recommend to City Council that relocation fees should be calculated differently. Most households would receive a substantially reduced fee according to our analysis. Households that rent from a ‘mom-and-pop’ landlord owning four or fewer units could see their fee further reduced. The good news is that the commission came to loggerheads on habitability so no action was taken that would tank a better standard for conditions in Beverly Hills rental housing.

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Habitability Comes Back to the Rent Stabilization Commission

On January 5th the Rent Stabilization Commission continues its habitability discussion and will likely decide whether or not Beverly Hills should create a local standard for minimum conditions in rental housing — and whether we need a rental housing inspection program to ensure landlords meet the standard. Today the city defaults to the state’s minimum standard — fit for human habitation — and with no systematic inspection some landlords fail to even meet that low bar. Let’s look at the commission’s prior discussions and what to look forward to at the next meeting.

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RSO Commission Recommends Changes to the Relocation Fees

At the November 3rd meeting the Rent Stabilization Commission recommended a new formula to calculate relocation fees in Beverly Hills that will, in most instances, reduce the fee paid to households if evicted by the landlord due to no fault of the tenant. At the next meeting in December the commission recommended that tenants of ‘mom-and-pop’ landlords should receive 25% less. If City Council enacts these changes then come July households across the city will fare much worse than today if evicted for no fault. Let’s take a look at the commission’s recommendation.

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Crescent Homeowners Say NO to Visitors Parking at the Curb

Homeowners on the 200 block of South Crescent Drive are petitioning City Council on Tuesday, November 16th to modify the preferential parking zone on their block. They want a new ‘No Parking Anytime Permit Q Exempt’ designation. Only Q-permit holders could park. That may benefit a few dozen homeowners but it would inconvenience visitors who depend on an hour of parking without a Q-permit. More important, if approved the designation would push that parking demand to numerous adjacent multifamily blocks where capacity is already limited.

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Habitability Comes to the Rent Stabilization Commission

The Beverly Hills Rent Stabilization Commission on November 3rd will discuss a rent stabilization ordinance amendment concerning a new habitability standard for rent-stabilized housing, housing inspections and other policies related to maintenance of the rental housing stock. This is not the first city policy discussion about it. Fifteen years ago City Council considered and rejected a rental housing inspection program that might have made all the difference to tenants today. Will this time be any different?

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Relocation Fees (Again) Return to RSO Commission Agenda

Relocation fees will make another appearance on the Rent Stabilization Commission’s agenda on November 3rd. It is a continuation of a discussion that has proceeded in serpentine fashion through five prior meetings since November of 2020. They commission’s task is to decide if whether the Beverly Hills rent stabilization ordinance should be amended to revise the amount of relocation fees awarded when a tenancy is terminated. Here is what to expect from the commission’s discussion.

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City Council Extends Local Moratorium to April

City Council has agreed to extend the Beverly Hills local moratoriums on evictions and rent increases to April 1, 2022. In a nod to the continuing uncertainty and economic impacts of COVID–19, council also agreed that tenants should not face a double rent increase this year. That means rent-stabilized tenants will see only a 3.9% rent increase once the moratorium expires. That is a win for tenants and particularly those who might be displaced but for moratorium protections while we ride-out the long tail of this pandemic.

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Rent Stabilization Commission Recommends End to Moratorium Protections

If the Rent Stabilization Commission has its way, all moratorium protections for tenants that were enacted during the pandemic would come to an immediate end. Commissioners have recommended to City Council that payment of full rent should resume — and that no-fault evictions and evictions for nonpayment should go forward too. Rent increases would also resume as early as December if City Council agrees at its October 26th meeting.

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What Does Inflation Mean for Tenants?

According to the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics inflation is marching upward. After years of very moderate increases in consumer prices, the bureau in September reported a 5.4% increase nationally with consumer prices bumping up 4.6% in our region over last September. Those price hikes will push our rents up too — especially for single-family and condominium renters — once our local moratorium on rent increases is lifted. Let’s look at inflation and its effect of inflation on housing costs for both prospective and current tenants.

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