Dear Dan: We are so pleased to be members of AOA – attending seminars, going to the Convention Center in Long Beach and utilizing the web site. This morning for the first time (I am pretty old-school), I used the online form to give a 60-day notice for a rent increase. THANK YOU! It was so much easier than I ever thought it would be. Thank you for a great web site, a really top-notch organization and fine seminars and staff.
We use QuickBooks because of you. We re-did our Family Trust because of you. Can’t begin to say how much we appreciate AOA. Sincerely, Garth and Mary Reid, La Palma, CA
Rent Control Billing Errors
Dear Dan: This is a letter I sent to HCIDLA (rent control) due to their inept mailing of billing notices, sending them to the tenant instead of the owner and then penalizing the owner who only found out upon paying his RSO/SCEP 2018 fees.
To Whom It May Concern at Billing for HCIDLA: I would have paid the initial $201.50 re-inspection fee if I HAD KNOWN ABOUT IT. HCIDLA continually sent notices to my tenant located at the property address as you can see from the attached initial statement and penalty statement. My mailing address was noted multiple times by the inspectors, rent registry and payment history. You should refund the penalty to me for your mailing error. I only found out after I received my 2018 RSO/SCEP registration statement and finally paid my fees. It is blatantly unfair to landlords for the HCIDLA to send notices to the apartment address rather than the contact address. Why do you think I didn’t pay the fee initially? I have never paid a late fee on any credit card, mortgage or city, state or federal fee. I am 62 years old and own many properties in the San Fernando Valley. I will await a refund for the [outrageous] penalty of $503.75 if the City of Los Angeles is honest and fair. Stephen F., owner and manager.
Honorable Mayor Garcetti and City Council Members:
Below is a copy of an email I wrote to a journalist in the Los Angeles Times (1), and a copy of an op-ed sent to the Los Angeles Times, (2). I truly hope you take a moment to read what is written below. While on subject, I no longer purchase property in the City of LA. Why not? The city has innumerable unnecessary programs that eat our time and energy that other cities do without and yet function at least as well as City of L.A. For example, SCEP – totally unnecessary and should be complaint based only. Keep the fees, but leave our tenants and owners alone; RecycLA – permitting approval process, simply the most unresponsive of any other of the 88 cities in L.A. County, and I could go on and on.
In the midst of this, our roads are a mess, our sidewalks are a mess and our traffic is a mess. Isn’t there a fundamental job you all should be doing, running our city? That aside, please read the RecycLA email to the L.A. Times below.
(1) To David Zahniser of the L.A. Times: Hello David, Larry Rubenstein again. I just emailed the L.A. Times an op-ed about the trash program (pasted below). Expanding further on the op-ed, I also own an office building in San Dimas. This city must also comply with the State of California’s recycle mandate. Here is their program – they sent owners a letter and a survey form; asked us to comply while providing us three alternative suggestions (all easy to accomplish), one of which is to simply contact your trash company to provide recycling carts/bins. I chose that option, and will be charged an extra $30/month for this service – simple, inexpensive, and compliant. Shall we walk through the RecycLA’s program? I know, not enough space to do so.
Finally and to be perfectly clear, the program is not getting any better and never will. I still spend over ten hours a week on the phone following up on billing, pickup, and correcting bins issues. Moreover, on my eight City of L.A. buildings, I am paying triple to quadruple per month to receive a half to one-third the service. Thank you again for continuing to write on this topic. I hope it has impact!
(2) Editorial to L.A. Times: David Zahniser has continued to provide needed coverage of the RecycLA program. However, the phone-in data given to Mr. Zahniser from RecycLA is quite misleading. As I have experienced over and again, calling the City is a wasted effort. The City simply submits a “SR” (service request?) to the trash company, and the trash company attempts to comply, something that just as well occurs when directly contacting the trash company. The really funny statement I recently was told by RecycLA service department was: why did you call the trash company and not us; didn’t they tell you to call us?
This whole RecycLA program is like a sad comedy. Aside from the abysmal implementation, the entire program is ill conceived. Yes, we should do more for recycling, the environment, wages, but this program is the worst approach one could conceive. City Council, please re-visit and re-think your program. Respectfully, Lawrence Rubenstein, Ph.D.