John Bagdzhyan, a member of the Glendale Tenants Union, collected over 11,000 signatures and presented them to the City Council in support of a suggested Glendale rent control initiative.

Bagdzhyan told the council that renters are having to move to less expensive locations because the rents in Glendale are “outrageously high”.  (I’m sure many people would prefer to buy a home and live in Malibu – gee, wonder if the City Council would demand lower home sale prices there to accommodate them? I mean, as long as they’re “controlling” apartment owners, why stop there?) 

Bagdzhyan and several other speakers at the meeting asked the council to implement “tenant welfare” (rent control) in Glendale that:

  • Caps rental increases at 3% a year
  • Only allows annual increases and
  • Employs a “City Mediation Board” to handle landlord/tenant disputes

According to City Atty. Mike Garcia, the Los Angeles County registrar must verify about 10,500 signatures on the union’s petition as belonging to registered Glendale voters in order to qualify it for placement on the next city election ballot.

Before moving to the ballot, however, the City Council will likely have their staff prepare a report analyzing the impacts of the proposed measure. Then, if no legal issues are present, the council can either adopt the measure as submitted — with no revisions — or take it to voters.

As of October 10th, 2017, the petition is being reviewed and a press release will follow with more information.

Right to Lease Ordinance

In August, the city of Glendale introduced a Right to Lease Ordinance.  According to the city of Glendale’s website, the proposed ordinance will require Glendale landlords to offer lease agreements to all tenants.  Applicable to apartment buildings with five or more units, the ordinance requires a landlord to offer prospective renters an initial one-year lease term with an option to renew for a second year, followed by annual one year lease renewals thereafter.  The ordinance is intended to provide some assurance of stability under a longer term lease so as to minimize displacement and “harm” to tenants in a volatile rental housing market.

For existing tenants: If the unit is rented, subject to a written lease in effect as of the effective date of the ordinance, when the lease for the unit expires, the Right to Lease Ordinance shall then apply to that unit. If the unit is rented without a written lease, the landlord shall offer a written lease to the tenant within 30 days after the effective date of this Ordinance, provided that the rental rates set forth in such lease offer shall not increase for a period of 120 days after the effective date of the lease.

A landlord who does not comply with these requirements may not increase the rent. Failure of a landlord to comply with any of the provisions of this Ordinance shall provide the tenant with a defense in any legal action brought by the landlord to collect rent or evict the tenant for nonpayment of rent.

According to the City Clerk’s office, there has been no action taken on this ordinance – it was said that the Glendale Tenants Union snuffed their noses at it.

Do I think that rent control is likely for Glendale?  Yes, I do.  Unless our elected officials are a little more educated on how rent control destroys housing; have taken and understand Economics 101, or are aware of the rising costs and expenses to run an apartment building – it will most likely pass. Not to mention the number of votes it will bring them.  We can’t expect them to be any different than the other politicians, now can we?

 

Patricia A. Harris is Senior Editor of the AOA News and Buyers Guide.