Clean & Sanitary: The Most Basic Multifamily Maintenance Standard

The State Civil Code is clear that “clean and sanitary” premises is a responsibility shared by both landlords and tenants. The tenant must keep her reasonably clean, of course, and the landlord, according to the law, must keep the common areas “in every part clean, sanitary, and free from all accumulations of debris, filth, rubbish, garbage, rodents, and vermin.” As many tenants know that is not the case when basic maintenance goes wanting.

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156 South Reeves: Another Case Study in Neglect and Hazard

Beverly Hills landlord Stephen Copen’s properties are often an object lesson to fellow landlords: When we neglect to repair our residential rental property the inevitable result will be deterioration, decay, and ultimately, a hazard we visit upon our community. That’s the lesson we can all take from 156 South Reeves today. Just take a look at that overhead garage door that fronts on Charleville. It has deteriorated so significantly that it now sags and menaces passersby with exposed, rusty nails. How did it come to this?

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Tenants Should Not Depend on a Tarp to Keep Dry

The city has identified two objectives for rent stabilization: to enhance the stability of renting households and to maintain and improve rental housing. But when landlords put profit before maintenance neither objective is accomplished: the property declines and prematurely reaches the end of its useful life. And there is no clearer sign of decline than a tarp on the roof!

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When Landlords Put Profit Before Maintenance

Beverly Hills residents take well-kept properties for granted. High-and-rising values generate resources for maintenance and, in turn, maintenance keeps property values up. But maintenance is not part of the business model for some owners of residential rental property. Instead their priority is cash flow. But scrimping on maintenance not only affects tenants; it also augurs an overall decline in the city’s rental housing stock. Let’s take an example!

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