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Rent Stabilization Ordinance on City Council Agenda Tuesday Night

Posted Monday, February 4, 2019 - 4:59 pm

The Beverly Hills City Council will be reviewing the Draft Rent Stabilization Ordinance (RSO) Tuesday so the City can finally approve a permanent rental Ordinance.

With Mayor Julian Gold determined to pass the ordinance under his watch, that means that the ordinance could be passed at this meeting.

Renters comments and Letters to the Editor reflect their concerns about several of the provisions that had never been discussed at the dozens of facilitated dialogues between renters and landlords. Surprisingly, these provisions were created on the dias during the Nov. 20 City Council meeting, seemingly without any consideration for the work that so many people had done.

Among the most objectionable: Evictions for Family Members, including four generations; underestimated relocation fees; annual allowable rent increases that went inexplicably from 3-7 percent or CPI to 3.5 – 7.5 percent or CPI; pass-throughs that could amount to hundreds of dollars a month; an onerous probationary tenant provision, which puts all tenants in their first year of tenancy at risk of being evicted without explanation: and no provision for enforcement except allowing for the hiring of more code enforcement officers, who have not yet been hired.

Unfortunately, the City has a number of corporate landlords that own multiple buildings, some with 40-60 units each. One bad landlord can effect a lot of families. In recent years, many of the buildings have changed hands. The notion of a Mom-and-Pop business is less and less common.

The ban on no-cause evictions and the reduction of annual rent increases from 10 percent are two provisions that renters appreciate. The City has also created a Rent Stabilization infrastructure, which will begin to populate soon, including a few new code enforcement agents. 

However, while a landlord has several ways to harass or evict a tenant, a tenant’s only recourse is the rental commission or committee – which has not yet been established. The Disruptive Tenant ordinance could make it hard for a tenant to find a rental somewhere else. A landlord can also evict a tenant by moving a family member in – child, parent or grandparent, or, in the first year of tenancy, within six months, a tenant can be notified that they will not be permitted to continue habitation after the year’s lease, without relocation fees. 

Deputy Director for Rent Stabilization Helen Morales reports that some landlords are also using the low remodeling costs-set in 2004 – to evict tenants, allegedly for the purpose of major remodeling.

The meeting will be on Tuesday evening at the Council Chambers in City Hall at 7 p.m. The entire text of the Draft Ordinance can be found at http://www.beverlyhills.org/living/beverlyhillstelevision/citycouncilmeetings/. Comments may be sent to bhrent@beverlyhills.org.

 

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