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 Fallacy Exhibit A: 169 North Clark

Local landlord Dan Yukelson recently circulated an email to city power brokers that claimed rent stabilization is harming mom-and-pop multifamily property owners in Beverly Hills. “These are ‘long time’ housing providers being forced out of business by over regulation and bad housing policies in Beverly Hills,” it says, and linked to several multifamily properties for sale. So we had a look. The listings don’t support specious claims but instead make the opposite argument: multifamily is still a money-minting business!

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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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Beverly Hills City Council Endorses Prop 10

Beverly Hills City Council has endorsed Proposition 10 for the November ballot. If passed by voters, Proposition 10 would enact the Affordable Housing Act and thereby repeal the state’s Costa-Hawkins Rental Housing Act. That legislation was Sacramento’s “gift to landlords” as one said because it ties the hands of any city that has enacted rent control. Our city’s endorsement is a statement of support for local control and self-determination. Indeed City Council voted unanimously to endorse Prop 10!

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Landlords File Federal Lawsuit to Invalidate Registry

Beverly Hills landlords never liked the city’s rental unit registry. They fought tooth-and-nail against this ledger of landlords, properties and tenancies because this must-have rent-stabilization tool would hold landlords accountable to the law. Last year the Apartment Association of Greater Los Angeles brought a Superior Court lawsuit to tank it. Now they are back again with their federal case and a new local landlord plaintiff.

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AAGLA Sees Ghosts in Prop 10’s Affordable Housing Act

Last year Beverly Hills landlords saw their allowed annual rent increase drop from 10% to 3% and a city-imposed relocation fee for involuntarily-terminated households. They lost the battle for the rental unit registry and all landlords were compelled to get a business license when about one-in-ten had avoided it. If 2017 was a tough year then 2018 looks only worse should the Affordable Housing Act ballot initiative win approval from voters in November.

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Giving Thanks for a Decent Property Manager [Updated]

I’m thankful for is the quiet enjoyment of my apartment with friends and family this Thanksgiving, but if my property management company conducted business unprofessionally it would be a different story. Here’s how Beverly Hills allows landlords to continue to perpetrate bad management practices even when we know there is a solution.

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City Council (Finally) Adopts Registry Resolution

City Council in Tuesday’s September 19th evening session adopted a resolution to create the rental unit registry. It was a formality, really. Council had decided to move ahead with it on September 5th despite a small parade of landlords who argued that the registry was not only unlawful but too costly and the product of an improper process.

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Heads Landlords Win, Tales Tenants Lose [Update]

City Council baked tenants a full loaf of protections when it unanimously adopted an ‘urgency ordinance’ in January. Annual rent increases were limited to 3% and significant relocation fees were obligated for any involuntary tenancy termination. That put the brake on no-cause evictions, and residents who rent have waited for such protection from City Hall for 30 years. But a month later it looks like landlords have gobbled half that loaf!

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You Turned Out on Tuesday. What Did Council Do?

I want to thank everyone who responded to my Renters Alliance invitation and attended the City Council meeting this past Tuesday. Some were reluctant to speak up, but many of you offered heartfelt comments and observations. But our recommendations on the proposed ordinance — released Friday night on a holiday weekend — were lost in our allotted one-and-a-half minutes at the microphone. So much for democracy!

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