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Our Recap of the Landlord Mills Act & Rent Adjustment Workshop

City of Beverly Hills held its second landlord education workshop and on the agenda were the city’s Mills Act historic preservation incentive and the rent stabilization ordinance’s rent adjustment process. The Mills Act is a tool our city can use to encourage the maintenance and preservation of local register-eligible multifamily apartments. The rent adjustment allows a landlord to petition for a rent increase higher than would otherwise be allowed.

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Metro’ Wilshire-Rodeo Station Work May Continue Through the Holidays

This Tuesday evening City Council will hear a request from Metro to allow construction (specifically station pilings) to continue throughout the holiday period, prior to Thanksgiving and extending through New Years Day. The issue is whether to require Metro to adhere to the schedule already formalized in a memorandum of understanding with the city, or to grant a waiver to allow that work to continue — and if so under what conditions. Will you be affected?

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Our Recap of the Landlord Community Education Workshop

City of Beverly Hills recently divided the community education workshop into separate tenant and landlord sessions. We recapped the August 12th tenant session and here we look at the September 12th landlord session, RSO Basics and Updates for Housing Providers. With two additional landlord sessions in coming months focused on specific topics like rental unit registration, turnout for this basics session was pretty light

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Breaking: Sacramento Inches Toward Statewide Rent Control

California leaders announced an agreement to enact strong tenant protections, says a release trumpeting Governor Gavin Newsom’s support for capped rent increases and just-cause eviction only. But we have been here before only to be disappointed by our Sacramento lawmakers. Because it is a rocky road from good intentions to signed legislation. Let’s look at what’s on offer.

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Rent Control & Higher Rents: Chicken-and-Egg Conundrum!

A Renters Alliance foot soldier forwarded a recent business section article from the Orange County Register titled, Fallout From State’s Rent Control Debate: More Rent Hikes. It caught my attention because it presupposes a familiar landlord argument: rent control leads to higher rents. Or is it that sharply higher rents lead to political support for rent control? Seems to me that this classic chicken-and-egg question deserves more thought than the premise implied by the article title.

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What is Driving the City’s Housing Policy? RHNA!

Beverly Hills is now entertaining a wide-ranging discussion about housing affordability and accessibility and the key issue is how the city can provide stability to residents today while accommodating housing demand in the future. Cutting right to the heart of the matter is state’s Regional Housing Needs Assessment: an obscure and complicated process for assigning to localities some responsibility for providing new dwelling units in order to meet that demand. In fact RHNA as it is known drives every significant housing conversation in our city today.

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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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Landlord Seminars: A Gear in the Organizing Machine

The great advantage that landlords have over tenants is professional organizing. They pay dues to support industry associations at the national, state, regional and local levels which then mobilize to beat back rent control in city halls. Associations find common cause with the constellation of landlord service providers, as I was reminded when I saw an upcoming seminar promoted by the Apartment Association of Greater Los Angeles. They work together to keep tenants perennially on the defensive.

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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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City Requires This Outdated Handbook Be Provided to Tenants

The Tenant Landlord Rights & Responsibilities Handbook is an 8-page paper and online document that outlines key aspects of state and local tenancy law. It is a helpful document and required reading for tenants before they sign a lease. In fact landlords must provide it. But the Handbook hasn’t been updated in a year despite important amendments to the rent stabilization ordinance. Why can’t the city get this right?

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