Rent Stabilization Commission Seeks a Tenant Representative

City of Beverly Hills is seeking a tenant-representative to fill an announced vacancy on the Rent Stabilization Commission. Formed in 2019 to hear tenant-landlord disputes, the commission was instead directed to consider amendments to the city’s rent stabilization ordinance and to make such recommendations to City Council. Discussions necessarily focus on policy but often touch on more general concerns about rental housing. This is a good opportunity for a tenant to learn about rent stabilization and to have a voice on an issue that affects more than half of all city households.

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Pass-Throughs Back at the RSO Commission for 9th Time

At the January meeting the Rent Stabilization Commission will take a record NINTH swing at crafting a recommendation to City Council concerning pass-through surcharges. In prior meetings commissioners found agreement to limit the cumulatively cost of any pass-throughs plus the maximum allowable annual rent increase to 10% of the base rent. Beyond that outer bound the commissioners have split on nearly every pass-through under consideration. At this meeting commissioners will try to come to some agreement on whether landlords should be able to pass through the cost of seismic retrofit, capital improvements and other major costs; and if so whether both Chapter 5 and Chapter 6 rent-stabilized tenants should pay for it.

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One Pass-Through Gets Commission OK, Others TBD

The Rent Stabilization Commission at the December meeting returned to its ongoing discussion about pass-throughs for Beverly Hills rent-stabilized tenants. There was no formal action but commissioners did find consensus on sharing with tenants the cost of the annual $63 per-unit RSO administration fee, and nearly found consensus on a 50–50 cost-share for seismic retrofit. Landlord commissioners scuttled that proposal so that pass-through plus several others will come back for more discussion in December.

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Tonight’s Rent Stabilization Commission Agenda: Pass-Throughs

The question of pass-through surcharges comes back to the Rent Stabilization Commission tonight and on the agenda is a review of current pass-throughs for refuse and water penalties which is applicable to all tenants; and a potential expansion of pass-throughs that could affect 95% of rent-stabilized tenants. Commissioners will discuss individual pass-throughs and may recommend to City Council that the city allow one or more monthly surcharges related to capital expenditures for property improvements; expenditures that are mandated by law (such as seismic retrofit); and a surcharge for additional tenant(s).

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Rent Stabilization Commission Poised to Allow More Pass-Throughs

The Beverly Hills Rent Stabilization Commission at the upcoming December meeting will again focus on pass-through surcharges and commissioners are likely to recommend more of them. To curb the impact, the commission has provisionally agreed to limit the rent increase plus pass-through surcharges to ten percent of the base rent. But that would be a significant increase in housing costs for any renting household. Should more pass-throughs be allowed at a time when asking rents are at record highs? You will have a chance to voice your opinion at the meeting on Wednesday, December 7th at 6pm. Here’s what you need to know and what may happen next.

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Tenant Representative Needed for the Rent Stabilization Commission

Commissioner Zachary Sokoloff has informed city hall that he must resign his appointment to Beverly Hills Rent Stabilization Commission. Though he steps away only 15 months into his term, he has been a thoughtful and constructive member of the commission. Most recently he secured commission’s agreement to recommend not more than a 10% effective annual rent increase including any pass-through surcharges. The December meeting will be his last but consequential appearance as the commission is likely to agree on more pass-throughs for tenants.

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Rent Stabilization Commission Warms to Pass-Through Surcharges

The Beverly Hills Rent Stabilization Commission at the September meeting indicated that it may recommend landlords be allowed to pass-through to tenants certain costs of doing business in addition to the rent. Commissioners seemed inclined to OK some or all of the bill for city-mandated seismic retrofit, for example, which could add $60-$120 per month to the rent. Pass-throughs could include other capital improvements like the cost of a new roof. And that’s on top of the cost of utilities that many tenants pay. To what extent should pass-throughs be allowed — and should the cumulative cost of pass-throughs be capped?

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RSO Commission Recommends No Change in the Max Rent Increase

The Rent Stabilization Commission at its July meeting discussed a recommendation to City Council that could amend the rent stabilization ordinance to allow certain pass-through charges and make a potential adjustment to the way the maximum allowable annual rent increase is calculated. Commissioners agreed to recommend an 8% cap on the annual rent increase for all rent-stabilized households in Beverly Hills and deferred action on pass-throughs until August. It was another circuitous and frustrating discussion in the commission’s marathon effort to work though the fundamental concepts behind the rent stabilization ordinance.

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RSO Commission to Discuss the Rent Increase Cap and Allowable Pass-Throughs

The Rent Stabilization Commission at its regular July 6th meeting will revisit an issue that will concern every Beverly Hills rent-stabilized household: potential future amendments to the rent stabilization ordinance relating to the maximum allowable annual rent increase and and the charges that may be passed-through to tenants. Each can make a difference in the amount of rent we pay but affect the price of housing in very different ways. Let’s take a look at what’s on the commission’s agenda and how it may affect tenants.

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RSO Commission OKs Fees, Whiffs on Habitability

The Rent Stabilization Commission has agreed to recommend to City Council that relocation fees should be calculated differently. Most households would receive a substantially reduced fee according to our analysis. Households that rent from a ‘mom-and-pop’ landlord owning four or fewer units could see their fee further reduced. The good news is that the commission came to loggerheads on habitability so no action was taken that would tank a better standard for conditions in Beverly Hills rental housing.

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Commission Recommended Relocation Fees: A Bad Deal for Tenants

On December 5th the Rent Stabilization Commission is poised to pass a resolution that will recommend Beverly Hills to change the way the relocation fees are calculated. The new formula would reduce the fee for nine out of ten rent-stabilized households, should they be evicted, and effectively reduces the compensation for moving expenses to a flat $1,000 regardless of apartment size. The commission majority supported a change to relocation fees by a 4–2 vote. Tenant commissioners didn’t support it, though, because it would be a bad deal for tenants.

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