Our latest posts

SoCalGas to Copen Tenants: It’s Up to You!

Here is the message that SoCalGas has for Dr. Stephen Copen’s tenants at 152 South Reeves: pay up the $1,359 your landlord owes or we’ll shut off your gas. It should come as no real surprise to any resident in his 12-unit apartment building. Helpfully this NOTICE TO TENANTS lets residents know that they could take this burden off the landlord by assuming “individual or joint responsibility” for the account and be on the hook for money and then deduct it from the rent.

Read more

Make the Chapter 6 Maximum Rent Increase Floor-Free!

There are many issues up for consideration at Tuesday’s City Council meeting but among the most important is the proposed 3.5% floor on the maximum allowed annual rent increase. That floor allows a landlord a 3.5% increase even when his actual costs don’t increase much if inflation is low. This is nothing more than a City Council subsidy to landlords. It has to go!

Read more

Greatest Threat to Tenants? The Proposed 3.5% Floor

Today is rent day, and that makes it an opportune moment to revisit City Council’s tentative consensus on a 3.5% floor for the maximum allowed annual rent for Chapter 6 tenants. As Councilmember Bob Wunderlich honestly described, this is a straight-up subsidy to landlords. We see it as an unearned bonus. Let’s take a look at what the floor is and what it means for tenants that could pay it.

Read more

We Need More From the Rent Stabilization Program

The rent stabilization websites of West Hollywood and Santa Monica are chock-full of news-you-can-use: tenant-specific workshops, archived tenant newsletters, FAQs on topics like pets and security deposits and more. Each city provides a well-organized overview of the rent laws. Why can’t Beverly Hills better communicate with those who rent here?

Read more

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.”

Read more

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!

Read more

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?

Read more

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.

Read more

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.

Read more

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.

Read more

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?

Read more