This article was posted on Wednesday, Jul 01, 2015

Dear AOA:

Thought we would share what a Commissioner in the San Diego Superior Court Small Claims Court said about your rental agreement at our hearing on Tuesday, February 3rd. The Rental Agreement is too far reaching as it seems to cover any possible problem you could encounter. Informed him we used the AOA agreement which was prepared by legal consultants. He questioned who they were, etc., and we explained our membership and landlord benefits. He then said maybe we should discuss the detailed language with them. He had never seen such a far reaching (yes he said it again) agreement in his experience in the Court. Isn’t that the point of a good rental agreement, cover your liability?     Sincerely, Sharon H. 

Dear AOA:

I had to leave the seminar on Fair Housing / Discrimination this morning about 10 minutes early.  I had to grab lunch and go to another appointment.  However, I just wanted to tell you how much I appreciate Alison and the AOA for being there at this particular time in my life.

There were several points I learned this morning that I had not previously known, in regard to discrimination.  I really appreciate the opportunity to attend these events.  And, you, Alison, are always such a gracious and patient person.  Thanks, again!    Best regards,   Marilyn K., (Oakland)                                                                   

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Dear AOA:

Regarding Increasing Water Rates:  Since the Los Angeles Rent Stabilization Ordinance (RSO) didn’t take the increased cost of water into account by their unchanged rent increase percentage, I think that what L.A. landlords need to do is apply for a “Just and Reasonable” additional increase to account for the drastic increase in water costs.

If enough landlords made this request, it might help to call attention to the problem that the L.A. RSO landlords face regarding rising operating costs.

While this additional increase would affect conscientious water users as well as water wasters, at least it might enable the landlord to keep his/her head “above water.”

The problem with decreasing rent and then charging for water, even if permitted, is that the water bill wouldn’t be rent.  Therefore, you wouldn’t be able to successfully evict a L.A. RSO tenant for not paying the water bill and you’d be collecting less rent while still paying for water.

Additionally, the premise of apportioning water charges based on number of occupants is flawed, especially in L.A. RSO apartments.  Just because the lease says three occupants doesn’t necessarily accurately reflect the actual number of occupants.  Neighbors are generally aware of this, so this would give rise to resentment.  Perhaps L.A. landlords who successfully obtain an additional increase could exercise flexibility when applying it to individual apartments.

One private billing company actually apportions charges based on square footage, which is totally unfair and ridiculous!     Sincerely, Rebecca A.