Have you visited the city’s rent stabilization website but didn’t find much information about the two-year long reform of the rent stabilization ordinance? We feel your pain! That’s why we’ve posted this page: to keep residents who rent in Beverly Hills informed about the policy process.
City Council recently agreed to form a new ‘rent commission’ made up of two tenants, two landlords and a ‘neutral party.’ As originally proposed, the commission would hear disputes related to habitability problems and perhaps award rent reductions; adjudicate terminations for ‘disruptive’ tenants; and consider hardship applications from landlords if they can’t pay a full relocation fee after displacing a household for the landlord’s use.
While that was the anticipated remit for the commission, at the February 5th meeting Council instead tasked the to-be-formed commission instead with discussing rent stabilization policy particulars — and then making recommendations to City Council for changes in the ordinance. That was a surprise: there are issues on which councilmembers found consensus already and it is not clear if those will be revisited.
The city will accept applications for rent commission vacancies soon and as soon as April, perhaps, the rent commission may commence proceedings. We should see a new rent stabilization ordinance by the end of the year — three years after the process began. (Read more about how we got here.)
The stakes are high for residents because any change to the rent stabilization ordinance will mean new regulations for the 7,700 households that rent rent-controlled apartments in Beverly Hills. Notably that does not include single-family homes, individually-owned condominiums, or accessory dwellings on a single-family lot.
Preliminary Consensus on Key Issues
Over the past several months Hills City Council has reached consensus on the maximum allowed annual rent increase; (read why the proposed 3.5% floor is a threat to tenants); certain pass-through costs such as seismic retrofit; and a new process that allows a landlord to remove a ‘disruptive’ tenant.
Council also gave the tenative OK to a probationary year for all new tenants and agreed to establish a new tier for 3-bedroom households who are lawfully terminated. Neither provision is in the ordinance yet. Council appears ready to exempt duplexes from rent stabilization and perhaps to exempt certain high-rent households. Again, neither provision is yet part of the ordinance.
Looking ahead it is not clear what are the next steps beyond the formation of a rent commission. The process to date has resisted meeting all predictions and will no doubt continue to surprise! We will keep this page updated as new events unfold.
Contact City Council
City Council welcomes your views on the rent stabilization ordinance. There are a few ways to reach our five councilmembers.
By phone at (310) 285-1013. PHONE CALLS MATTER! Ask for a councilmember by name if you want to leave an individual message, or leave a message for City Council as a whole.
By email at firstname.lastname@example.org. (To contact a specific councilmember by email, note that only councilmembers Bosse, Friedman and Wunderlich provide it. Find those councilmembers’ direct email addresses on the City Council website under each councilmember’s profile.
In person at a Council meeting. Council meetings occur every other Tuesday at 7pm. Public comment comes a the top of the meeting, and you may address any issue you choose. Council chambers is located on the 2nd floor of City Hall. Simply park at the library. At chambers fill out a yellow speaker slip and wait to be called. Public comment comes right after 7pm.
Helpful hint: Clearly identify the issue (or issues) of concern and say how it affects you. A sentence or two is all it takes. And if you have some action in mind, tell them. Need more background? Read the Renters Alliance background on the process to date.