RSO Commission’s Agenda: Ordinance Recommendations

City Council created the Rent Stabilization Commission but left open the question of what the commission will do. Originally it would adjudicate ‘disruptive’ tenant terminations and mediate habitability disputes (and more). But last month City Council decided that commissioners should first discuss changes to the rent stabilization ordinance. A straw poll among councilmembers provided some focus for that discussion.

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City Council Creates a Rent Stabilization Commission

City Council on April 2nd formally created a new Rent Stabilization Commission. Comprised of tenants and landlords and tasked with recommending changes to the city’s rent stabilization ordinance, it is a bold move to give tenants and landlords a real voice on issues that affect us. And it is the most tangible sign to date of the city’s commitment to the rent stabilization ordinance.

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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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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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RSO Study Session #1: Council Gets to Work!

City Council held its first rent stabilization ‘study session’ last Thursday. This is the latest step in a 18-month policy process to amend the rent stabilization ordinance. The session suggested what a final rent stabilization ordinance might look like: relocation fee schedule, exempted properties and more. However key issues — and the process itself — is still up for negotiation!

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2018 Dialogue #2: Rent Banking, Exemptions and Rent Adjustment

This second dialogue in the 2018 series was convened to address three issues up for discussion at City Council: rent banking, exemption from rent stabilization for certain properties, and the rent adjustment process. Like the previous session, consultant HR&A Advisors presented each issue then passed the microphone to tenants and landlords for comment. These sessions are less about ‘dialogue’ and more call-and-response on a set of defined policy options.

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2018 Dialogue #1: No-cause, Relocation Fees, Ellis & Habitability

Dialogue #1 in this second round kicked off with a series of four issue presentations from city consultant, HR&A Advisors. Each was followed by followed by an open mic for public comments. Unlike last summer’s roundtable discussions, this series of dialogues is highly structured: an issue walk-through and then policy options to which the public is invited to respond. Not much of a dialogue!

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Community Education Workshops: The Good, Bad and Ugly

City of Beverly Hills recently convened two Community Education Workshops where staff provided both tenants and landlords information about the rent stabilization ordinance. Community Preservation Manager Nestor Otazu walked though the recent changes and highlighted some key aspects of state law that apply to those who rent housing and those who provide it. Here is our takeaway.

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RSO Process is in the Hands of the Consultant

Tenants and landlords looking forward to a final rent stabilization policy for Beverly Hills will have to wait a while longer. On November 21st City Council handed over to a national consulting firm, HR&A Advisors, the task of rent stabilization analysis. The consultant will undertake data collection, analysis, and even convene additional facilitated dialogues, culminating in a process that may unfold over the next 18-22 weeks. That extends the timeline for the rent stabilization discussion to nearly two years.

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City Council: Let’s Get on With the Program

Mayor Bosse tonight focused councilmembers on several key issues that are necessary to move the rent stabilization program forward: proceeding with a rental registry, funding the program, and hiring a deputy director. Other areas of council agreement included forming a tenant-landlord board and a new habitability standard. While the RSO program moves forward the next steps are yet unclear.

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Dialogue #7: My Takeaway

Facilitator Sukhsimranjit Singh wrapped up dialogue #7 like a man with a mission: “Let’s close the gap – I give the power to you but we need to move forward.” Moving forward is a challenge when tenants and landlords cannot to come to agreement, even conceptually, on something like the maximum allowed annual rent increase. But it helps when Mayor Lili Bosse is in the room. Here’s my takeaway from the final facilitated dialogue that hinged on that critical policy issue.

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