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?

Read more

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.

Read more

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.

Read more

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!

Read more

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.

Read more

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.

Read more

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.

Read more

RSO Commission to Consider Relocation Fees

City council has tasked the Rent Stabilization Commission with discussing important aspects of the city’s rent stabilization ordinance and then recommending to council whether changes should be made. Up next is relocation fees: should the fee requirement be eliminated — or should the relocation fee amount be reduced or in some way modified? Here’s our preview of the commission’s relocation fee discussion.

Read more

Solid Waste Services Rates are Rising and You May Pay

On November 17th city council is poised to sharply increase the cost of solid waste services and alley maintenance. Every landlord pays these charges but some don’t pass the cost on to tenants. That may change: rising rates may prompt landlords to add a surcharge for refuse. As more tenants pay, we will notice just how steeply those costs will rise over the next five years. Let’s take a closer look at the proposed rate increase and see why this is a bad deal for multifamily customers.

Read more

How Beverly Hills Tenants Lost Local COVID-19 Eviction Protections

The ‘Tenant, Homeowner, and Small Landlord Relief and Stabilization Act of 2020’ (AB 3088) was enacted on August 31st to protect COVID–19 affected tenants from eviction. And just in the nick of time: just hours later the California courts would resume processing evictions for non-payment of rent! But lawmakers had another motive: to make COVID–19 evictions policies consist statewide by preempting local measures (like the Beverly Hills eviction moratorium) under certain circumstances. Now it looks like Beverly Hills unwittingly played into the hands of the state and ceded authority over our own COVID–19 protections.

Read more

Beverly Hills OKs $1M Rent Subsidy Program

Beverly Hills tenants who have been affected by COVID–19 may find relief in a new city rent subsidy program. First proposed two years ago as a general subsidy for rent-burdened tenants, the refashioned program is scoped-down in reach but scaled-up in benefit. City council at its September 15th meeting agreed to throw as much as $1 million toward rent-relief program to provide $1,000 for at least three months to tenants affected by COVID–19 measures. While tenants seeking relief will likely have to wait a month to get it, we do know something about program particulars.

Read more