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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The Deck is Stacked Against Tenants

A frustrating aspect of pro-tenant advocacy work is that however well-intentioned the outreach, the fact is the deck is stacked against those who rent housing. The 3-day notice awaits the tenant who keeps a pet, lives with an unapproved partner or roommate, or is a a day late or a dollar short on the rent. But landlords can withhold repairs, enter the unit unlawfully, and even retaliate without being held to account. Our rent stabilization ordinance does not come to the rescue!

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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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Relocation Fees Rise by 4.1%

City of Beverly Hills announced that relocation fees will incrementally rise according to the percentage change in consumer prices for our region: a 4.1% increase in July. The small bump-up is intended to allow the relocation fees to keep pace with inflation. But the task of the relocation fee is to keep up with rising rents. The difference means tenants actually lose ground over time as the cost of rental housing gallops away from the fees.

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Unpaid Relocation Fees: Justice Delayed Is Justice Denied!

“Justice delayed is justice denied.” The aphorism means an untimely remedy for injustice is no remedy at all. It comes to mind whenever we hear that a required relocation fee was unpaid at the time a tenant vacates her apartment. That payment that is intended to assist the involuntarily-displaced tenant with replacement housing. But when it is late — even months late — our city has failed her. A relocation fee delayed is justice denied!

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Relocation Fees Explained

A relocation fee is obligated whenever a tenancy in Beverly Hills is involuntarily terminated by the landlord. That can include major remodeling, demolition for redevelopment, condominium conversion or landlord use. Relocation fees are owed when a property is taken off the rental market. A relocation fee is not owed when a tenancy is terminated for cause (including the new ‘disruptive tenant’ termination). Here we explain the origin, purpose and limitations of the relocation fee.

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2017 Dialogue #3: Tenants United on RSO

This third facilitated dialogue was yet another break from expectations: we broke into two groups, tenants and landlords, with each in a separate room to talk about the key issues. Regardless of what transpired in the landlord’s room, we tenants found a renewed purpose in working together. And we presented a unified front when it came to defending the current ordinance.

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