AOA’s TRASH LAWSUIT
From Carol Shining, Shining Law Firm
You may have recently read about a settlement between the City of Los Angeles and the seven
franchisee waste haulers. According to these news reports, this settlement purports to change the
contract between the City and the Haulers as certain distance fees. However, several things are
First, we do not have the amended contract so we cannot confirm whether these reports are true.
It may be weeks before that is available to the public.
Second: Our lawsuits (one against the City and a separate one against the Haulers) are not
Third: Please make sure you are keeping your bills, keeping track of any extra fees and charges
and penalties. Continue sending them to us for our review. Shining Law Firm, 21550 Oxnard St.,
Ste. 630, Woodland Hills, CA 9136.
It is important for all impacted property owners and (tenants who pay pass-through) to keep us
informed as to what is really happening on the ground!
Thanks for your continued support as we keep moving forward on behalf of all of you!
Thank you for your email regarding the lawsuit against the trash companies. We have
documentation (i.e., past and current bills) that shows the gross increase in charges, some almost
double. Also, quality of service has declined. When you create a monopoly you create arrogance and
indifference, you’ve eliminated the system of checks and balances inherent in competition.
As you know, the trash monopoly has also added a slew of “tack on” fees – extra fees for
pressing a button to open a gate, extra fees for moving a bin a few additional feet, extra fees if
the lid is up a little. The most outrageous one is a $127 fee for overweight. The reason it is
outrageous is that the trash company, in this case Athens, admitted that their drivers do not have
any sort of weight/measuring equipment (a scale) so they arbitrarily add on that charge.
We have met with Councilmember Kortez and representatives from the City and the trash
companies to express our outrage. The Councilman understands that there are “problems” with
the system. The sad part is that the City and the Mayor are responsible for this debacle,
they voted for it. They did so without input from the people who actually pay the bills, the
Leaving a competitive bidding system in place would not only help keep costs down but would
make the environmental changes to trash collection that are necessary quicker and cheaper.
Please let me know if I can help you with your legal action. Sincerely, Victor Bardack
You state in number four of the accomplishments [in your March President’s Message] that the
city has agreed to reimburse one half of the trash companies’ supposed "loss" (94 million) on this
$188 million rollback. Where do you think the city is going to get the 94 million to "reimburse"
the trash companies for their so called loss?
They just shifted the burden to the taxpayers at large. The city pays nothing in reality. The trash
companies look like they are giving up a lot of profit when in fact they got called out on the
outrageous fee hikes. They get to keep $94 million! And they think the housing providers are
satisfied!!!?? Talk about a shell game!! Bill B.
Sent to the Los Angeles City Council Members:
I own four properties in the West L.A. area and I think what the City Council has done is
borderline criminal in awarding a very few trash contractors exclusive rights to haul trash in
specific areas. This is called a monopoly as I can no longer choose who I want to do business
with! There is no competition among the haulers and therefore prices on my properties for trash
service have more then tripled, going from just over $100 per month per building to well over
$300 per month. What happened to capitalism in business? This all needs to be undone so
owners can choose who they want to do business with! Michael Schachter
Sent to Councilman David Ryu:
Back in time, I sent you email to stop this unfair practice of trash collection pricing and making
trash haulers go out of business so you could create a false practice of using your prescribed
companies to pick up trash. This is a practice of Socialism. This is America land of free
enterprise. Don’t you understand American principals? It’s time to get you out of office.
Hope you read this text. Anonymous AOA Member
Sent to Supervisor Simon:
I understand you have the difficult task of seeking solutions for the housing crisis in Los
Angeles, which is inextricably bound up with issues of mental health, addiction, and above all,
poverty. I sometimes think that if we have over 50,000 homeless people, we are going to need
50,000 different solutions. Thank you for all you are doing.
I read the Resolution presented by Supervisor Kuehl and the Community Development
Commission/Housing Authority Report, and I did not find landlords listed among the
stakeholders that were consulted in determining the recommendations. I urge you to consider
that some effective solutions could be found by addressing the problems that landlords
experience with Section 8, third-party, and other voucher assistance programs.
Many assisted tenants are responsible people and it has been our pleasure to provide them a
stable, secure home. However, others, or their family members, can represent a high risk to the
landlord. When an abusive tenant disturbs neighboring residents and discourages potential new
tenants from renting, neither HACLA nor any third-party payer shares the burden of removing
them. In my view the most critical step the County could take to encourage Section 8
participation would be to take responsibility for evicting tenants who violate their lease terms.
Among the violations we have experienced are:
inviting associates to loiter in the common areas;
adding 4 unauthorized occupants and 5 unauthorized animals in a space approved for a single
persistent cluttering of common areas, walkways, and stairwells;
consumption of illegal substances in common areas and in the presence of children;
stringing extension cords outside the unit to steal electricity;
failure to clean the unit, subjecting neighboring tenants to a bad smell.
Eviction costs a landlord $10,000 to $20,000 in lost rent, legal fees, and settlement costs.
Adding insult to injury, tenant’s rights attorneys press the Courts to seal eviction cases, sparing
the violator any consequences and subjecting future property owners to the same abuse. Large
corporate landlords with in-house counsel can absorb the expense of eviction. Smaller property
owners cannot. Swift action by the County to enforce lease terms would significantly lessen the
landlord’s financial risk, as well as improving quiet enjoyment of the property by all tenants.
Another way to incent landlords to participate would be to give HACLA the resources to operate
more efficiently. Like several parties who spoke at your hearing, we have experienced low-ball
contract offers (up to 15% below the price of identical units); delays of up to two months in
producing a lease contract; and uncorrectable administrative errors
Many steps can be taken to create a healthy housing community, and there are professionals with
far wider experience than mine who are eager to work with you. Please involve the Apartment
Owners Association [of CA, Inc.] and other landlord advocates in your ongoing efforts. It is
important to all of us that fair housing be the norm.
Thank you for your consideration, and best of luck. Sincerely, Phyllis Elliott
I’ve written you before about the trashy trash policy. I have seen Waste Management’s driver
look into my 3-yard trash can a couple times, and due to it only being half full, just leave without
taking the trash! How can I be paying more than double with recent increases than before
and not even getting the same service? I have on video, the driver stopping the truck, looking
into the can and leaving without a pickup. I figured you would like that. I’ll send to you in a bit.
Also, I wonder if you asked in the magazine how many owners are noticing that some weeks that
trash doesn’t get pick up due to low level and how many times this happens. If that was to get
out, it couldn’t be good for the leadership of this city and their trashy policy. Just a money-grab.
You are who we turn to for the pressure to happen, since you have the owner population at your
reach. (Let it be noted that Waste Management did credit our bill for that “non-pickup”.) Thanks, Elliott Mason