This article was posted on Monday, Mar 12, 2012

Below is an open letter written to Councilperson Tom LaBonge

Dear Tom:

Please allow me some venting. I own three rent controlled buildings; two in your district
and one in Studio City. The billing packet for one of the three buildings arrived today, the 14th of the month. One can only assume that the other two packets will arrive some time after the Martin Luther King holiday, this coming Monday.
Tom, have you viewed the six pages of information landlords are receiving this year? It is so confusing and the changes described so patently unfair – I cannot believe that the City of LA makes things so difficult for landlords.

1. I have never been late with any payments, but are you aware that the City is charging 150% penalty for RSO payments received after Feb 29 and a 200% penalty for SCEP fees received after Feb 29th? This is absolutely draconian, Tom, and the City should be ashamed of bullying.

2. The City has increased the RSO fee over 30% & the SCEP fee over 21%. My question to you, Tom, will the City Council propose that landlords be allowed similar rent increases this year? And why are the increased fees not discussed in the “New Changes in 2012” explanation?

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3. Was it really necessary for the City to make the T1 Exemption Request so complicated? Please take time to read the new rules, Tom. It appears to me that I now must mail that application in a separate envelope and it must be received by Jan 31, or the exemption will not be honored. It seems my only defense is to use Certified Mail. Does this seem a fair way to treat landlords? I think not.

This is all so frustrating. I also own buildings in both Glendale and Burbank where there is no RSO, no SCEP and no Business Tax. Does the City Council realize that these programs diminish the desirability of investing in rental property in LA, thereby diminishing the value of LA properties, and therefore lowering the tax base of rental properties in LA?
Tom, you have a tough job, but I sincerely believe that my complaints are valid and deserve your thoughtful response.

Thank you,

Tom Wilkins

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