Our latest posts

Time Heals All Wounds as Landlord’s Assets Values Rise

It is high praise is to be called out by a landlord for being a “zealot” or for orchestrating a “dog-and-pony show” that successfully brought no-just-cause termination to an end in Beverly Hills. We are guilty as charged! But we can take special pride in being the focus of an amateur gumshoe investigation by the Apartment Association of Greater Los Angeles, the “voice of multifamily housing.”

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Do Communists Celebrate Christmas?

Vice-Mayor John Mirisch posted this rhetorical question on Instagram: Do Communists celebrate Christmas? “The Apartment Association of Greater Los Angeles evidently thinks so,” he said. “They sent our mayor a ‘present’ equating our efforts to craft a rent stabilization ordinance with Communism.” This ‘red scare’ tactic is all the more ironic because it invokes religion — an anathema to communists!

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A Gentle Hand With Landlords Encourages Impunity

The New York Times today published another installment in its year-long series focused on predatory landlords and the damage they do to tenants. ‘Bad Landlords Dodge Full Bite of a Watchdog’ explains why recidivist property owners aren’t ever held accountable by City of New York. Lax enforcement, paltry penalties, and a bureaucracy insufficiently committed to protecting tenants is to blame. Sound familiar?

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RSO Study Session #4: Council Presses Pause Button

City Council will revisit rent stabilization at its upcoming February 5th meeting. That could be the final discussion on the next rent stabilization ordinance. Key policy choices lie ahead, though, and we have not even addressed several issues important to tenants. That’s why we urged City Council to press the pause button at the December 18th meeting. This is our recap of that meeting.

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The Sheriff is a Sight No Neighbor Wants to See

Here is a sight nobody wants to see early on a Friday morning before Christmas: a Sheriff’s deputy probably on his way to serve a tenant his notice to vacate. It is heartbreaking to see it in my neighborhood and even worse to see it on the next block. The only thing worse is the Sheriff showing up for a lock-out. The notice to vacate is the penultimate step. When the Sheriff shows up, that means time is up.

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Draft Ordinance is Out: Time for an Easter Egg Hunt!

There is an important step in the policy process where the needs of the public are served or thwarted by hidden hands: when a staff report and draft ordinance is presented to City Council. A draft ordinance should reflect the broad intent of City Council but also nail down the policy particulars necessary to codify Council direction into law. Sometimes there are surprises. I call these Easter eggs.

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Good News & Bad News on the Rent Increase

City Council recently discussed the maximum allowed annual rent increase and the good news is that we are keeping it indexed to consumer prices (CPI). A real win for tenants: inflation dictates the increase. The not-so-good news is that Council may agree to a 3.5% floor on the increase. That would give landlords an extra half-percent above the 3% floor today in low-inflation years. Why does Beverly Hills need a floor on the allowed increase at all?

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Probationary Tenancy: A Backtrack on No-Just-Cause Eviction

Beverly Hills ended no-just-cause evictions in October, but City Council appears to be ready to backtrack on that commitment with a new proposal to make the first (lease) year of a tenancy a probationary period. This ‘trial’ period would allow the landlord to terminate for no cause the tenancy at the expiration of the lease. It would affect more than 400 households every year.

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Council Takes a Shellacking From the Community

City Council has come in for some bruising at the hands of community advocates Steve Mayer and Thomas White who are unhappy with the RSO amendment process. We share that view! The Courier also took City Hall to task for rolling back tenant protections. We share that view too! As I say in my letter to the editor, after two years of rent stabilization progress this is a step backwards.

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RSO Study Session #3: The Lightning Round

After this third City Council rent stabilization study session we can see more clearly what’s ahead for the rent stabilization ordinance. We have gained important protections since early 2017. And just last month Council eliminated no-just-cause eviction. Also landlords must now register their rental units. But on the menu is an exemption for some properties and a new ‘probationary’ tenancy proposal.

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City Allows Landlords to Terminate ‘Disruptive’ Tenants

City Council’s end to no-just-cause eviction was a clear sign that residential stability of tenants is a city priority. As part of the deal, City Council created a new reason for termination with cause: the ’disruptive’ tenant’ provision. And now a new City Council subcommittee in place to heard disruptive termination application. What does it mean for an unruly tenant?

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