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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Stephen Copen Lays Down the Law: “Get off My Lawn!”

Let it be known that Beverly Hills landlord Stephen Copen threatened to call the cops on ‘Little Guy,’ an unprepossessing Shepherd-Chihuhua senior who has a penchant for sniffing lawns up and down Reeves Drive. His offense late on Saturday night: trespassing on Copen’s lawn at #152. Little Guy was guilty. And this wasn’t his first offense. So Copen’s phone came out and Little Guy and I had to make a getaway. But not before a frank exchange of views!

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Making the Means and Methods Plan Better: Our Recommendations

The city requires a means & method plan when construction will affect other tenants in a multifamily property. The plan discloses the nature of the work, identifies likely impacts, and proposes measures to mitigate impacts. But we hear from tenants that the means & method process is not protecting them. The process needs improvement and here is what we recommend to make it work better for tenants.

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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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The Winter of Our (Pandemic) Discontent

Seems like turnover in Beverly Hills residential rental housing is on the increase. Or maybe it’s just my neighborhood. After a spring and summer put on hold by the lockdown, I began to see ‘no parking’ signs pop up through the fall. Sometimes signs stacked one upon another. Moving vans occasionally doubled-up at the curb and always they seemed to haul-away furnishings but never deliver them. Is there an exodus underway?

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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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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.

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Solid Waste Rate Increase: An Open Letter to City Council

Dear Mayor Friedman and members of the city council: Before you is a recommendation to increase solid-waste rates over five years. A new solid waste collection contract is forcing the city’s hand and we fully expect you to approve the proposed rates. However it should be noted that the rates, if approved, will force multifamily customers to shoulder even more of the burden of covering the city’s residential solid waste collection cost. Here are some observations.

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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.

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Measure RP: Thoughts on the City’s ‘Tax Payer Protection Act’

Beverly Hills city council has placed on the November ballot a measure to conditionally add three-quarters of one percent to the sales tax IF Los Angeles County voters at some point in the future approve any increase. Dubbed by city council as the ‘Beverly Hills Tax Payer Protection Act,’ Measure RP would put our city a step ahead of the county by grabbing the resulting revenue. But the measure raises some questions about equity. In this time of unprecedented stress on county health and homelessness services, is it fair to put Beverly Hills first?

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