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Property Maintenance in the Era of COVID: Cleanliness Matters!

Residential rental dwellings must be fit for human habitation and free from ‘dilapidations,’ says California Civil Code section 1941. In part that means “all areas under control of the landlord, kept in every part clean, sanitary, and free from all accumulations of debris, filth, rubbish, garbage, rodents, and vermin.” Not a high bar! But not all landlords live up to that standard and during the COVID-19 pandemic we may see some landlords shirk their responsibility.

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Tenant Advocates Spring Into Action with a Call for Rent Relief

Renters Alliance sees the COVID-19 relief promised to taxpayers and businesses as wanting. Taxpayers get a one-time payment of $1,200 per adult and $500 per child and some who need it won’t even get it. But businesses (including apartment landlords) already get plenty of tax breaks and now they’ll get more while small landlords lose out. If tenants and landlords can agree on one thing it is that providing relief to tenants will provide relief to landlords too.

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CARES Act: An Emergency Assist From Congress for Some Landlords

Congress in March passed H.R. 748, the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act) which extended unemployment benefits for laid-off workers and granted a ‘recovery rebate’ of $1,200 to qualified taxpayers. But there was A LOT more in that federal bag o’ treats, and many — but not all — multifamily housing owners in Beverly Hills may benefit. Let’s take a look at Washington’s largess and the multifamily housing industry’s opportunities for relief under the CARES Act of 2020.

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Moratorium on the Rent Increase: What You Need to Know

City of Beverly Hills expanded its moratorium on eviction due to the COVID–19 emergency to also include a moratorium on the allowed annual rent increase. The provision is included in a new urgency ordinance which took effect on April 1st. However the rent freeze appears to apply retroactively to the date that the local emergency was declared: March 15th. Let’s take a closer look to see how it may apply to tenants who faced a rent increase.

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Moratorium on No-Fault Eviction: What It Means

The revised emergency measures related to COVID–19 adopted by Beverly Hills is notable for the moratorium on eviction for non-payment of rent and the moratorium on rent increases. But as important is a moratorium on no-fault eviction. State law allows for terminating a tenancy for reasons where the tenant is not at fault and localities are preempted from stepping in with more restrictive regulation. But that’s gone out the window during this emergency. Here is what you need to know about no-fault eviction.

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Moratorium on Eviction for Non-Payment: What You Need to Know

Beverly Hills city council has revised the moratorium on eviction for the non-payment of rent to add two important protections: it now prohibits any no-fault eviction including under the state’s Ellis Act (and stops the clock on evictions underway); and it puts the freeze on rent increases for residential tenants effective April 1st. But the most significant protection is against eviction for non-payment related to COVID–19. Here’s what you need to know.

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Tenants Suffer as City Stays Mum on the Revised Moratorium Ordinance

Five days have elapsed since Beverly Hills enacted a revised moratorium on eviction for non-payment of rent. Yet we have not heard a word about it from the city: no update to the rent stabilization website, no email announcing it, and no guidance for tenants who cannot pay the rent due to COVID-19. Landlords will take advantage of that information vacuum and tenant uncertainty and anxiety will result. Here’s one example courtesy of landlord Elm Enterprises, LLC.

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City Council Extends and Enhances Emergency Tenant Protections

After another marathon eight-hour emergency meeting, Beverly Hills city council unanimously agreed to improve our moratorium on eviction for non-payment of rent due to COVID–19 by extending the repayment period from six months to one year AND adding a new protection against Ellis Act eviction. City council also agreed to freeze rent increases, too, so no tenant will see a rent hike while the local emergency is in place.

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Need Rent Forbearance? Beverly Hills May Make it Untenable

City of Beverly Hills this month declared a state of emergency and adopted an eviction moratorium that would put the break on residential evictions for non-payment of rent (and even prevent no-fault evictions when otherwise allowed by law). This Tuesday at 2:30 pm city council will consider revising that moratorium to make it much more burdensome for tenants to qualify for forbearance.

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Governor Newsom Orders a Statewide Eviction Moratorium

Governor Gavin Newsom has issued an executive order imposing a statewide moratorium on residential and commercial evictions for non-payment of rent. Effective March 27th, and extending through May 31st, the order compliments an earlier order that only allowed localities to prohibit evictions for non-payment. Beverly Hills was among the earliest in the Southland to do so. What does the statewide moratorium say, and how does our local moratorium compare?

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Rent Stabilization Commission Appointments

One year ago Beverly Hills city council formally created a new Rent Stabilization Commission to discuss changes to the rent stabilization ordinance and to decide certain disputes between tenants and landlords. Standing up the new commission signaled city council support for the rent stabilization program, but more immediately it heralded the next step in our ongoing three-year process to revise the ordinance. We anticipated commission appointments soon but then the city erroneously sent out letters announcing it. Here is a look at who will be appointed next Tuesday.

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