THANKS FOR NOTHING
So happy to hear you care about the unhoused. Why can’t you show the same respect and concern for landlords providing housing?
We have a 10-unit building and two tenants who just refused in April 2020 to pay rent and have continued to not pay almost three years later. Plus, they refuse to apply for assistance. Where is your concern for the landlord who must still pay city taxes, housing fees, insurance, mortgage, utilities, etc all without any financial assistance from the city or the county?
Thanks for nothing of value that would make the landlord whole why lifting up others. Verdel
TAKE DOWN THE RENT FREEZE!
Dear Mr. Krekorian:
Thank you for your courage and insight in now accepting and adopting Mayor Garcetti’s statement that the Emergency Circumstances Declaration has been factually eliminated and removed.
In March of 2020, the Coronavirus was prevalent and frightening. People were ordered to remain sheltered in place in their homes, and many businesses were closed.
Lysol and other disinfectants were not available. We could not find sufficient supplies of facial coverings, masks and cleaning supplies. There was no antidote, medicine or vaccine.
The federal government adopted a program in which businesses could apply for financial relief. This came to be a terrible program because many corporate-type companies abused the system and took the federal relief when they did not need the assistance. Instead of using the money they received to rehire employees who would then be in a position to pay their rent, the corporations took the money and paid their senior partners and others who, frankly, did not need financial help. The relief program was not well thought out and resulted in plenty of corruption and fraud, while many small businesses went under – never to come back from their financial losses.
Los Angeles then adopted a rent relief program which also failed. It was poorly staffed, unorganized, and had insufficient funds.
People stayed home. They received rent supplements and money from the federal government.
Without any evidentiary hearings, Mayor Garcetti and City Council decided that all annual rental increases mandated by the RSO would be suspended. Landlords’ financial situations were not taken into account.
Concurrently, an elaborate eviction moratorium was established. The Chief Justice of the California Supreme Court closed the eviction courtrooms. The State of California adopted more eviction protections, and individual cities and counties adopted a series of eviction protections. It was complex, complicated and definitely confusing.
Emergency Circumstances Lifted: On December 7, 2022, the Mayor and the Council identified that all of the pre-vaccine Coronavirus landscape had been dramatically altered and changed. We now have access to vaccines and boosters. Local pharmacies had the meds to deal with the Coronavirus. Masks and disinfectants are available with a click of a button from home.
Institutions and businesses are open, including venues for the Dodgers, Chargers, Rams, Lakers and more. Our schools are open.
Because of policy, unemployment, and financial aid during the lockdown, when the city opened up, many people did not want to go back to work because they enjoyed the flexibility and freedom associated with remote employment, and without having to pay rent, while receiving unemployment money, there wasn’t an urgency to get back to work.
As we drive down around the city, there are plenty of “Help Wanted” signs in windows, but business owners can’t fill the positions because of a lack of applicants.
We’ve all heard stories of wealthy tenants who had the means, but did not pay rent – an example of abuse of the system, while landlords faced bankruptcy because they could not pay their mortgages, due to no monthly income.
Now, effective February 1, 2023, if you do not pay your rent you may be subject to eviction. Maybe. That arrangement, which was unanimously approved by City Council in October 2022, has yet to be signed by the Mayor as a new ordinance.
On the other hand, people who didn’t pay their rent were given two benchmarks to handle the payment, August 2023, and the balance will be due February 1, 2024. Legal scholars and eviction attorneys all agree that most of the tenants who have not paid their rent, will simply steal away in the middle of the night and never pay. It appears that in certain situations, these types of debt now cannot be collected by a wage garnishment or other arrangement. As a result, small landlords will never achieve any type of equity.
Rent Freeze: Legal scholars, who have examined the protection for property owners provided by the United States Constitution, (Amendments Five and Fourteen), all agree that the rent freeze was unconstitutional and illegal. There is an incredible amount of very wealthy tenants, and they are not rent burdened.
Remember, the rent freeze only applied to RSO units. There is no evidence that those tenants who live in Bel Air, Westwood, Brentwood, Pacific Palisades, Venice, Toluca Lake, Hollywood Hills, Cheviot Hills, Rancho Park, Playa Vista, Playa del Rey, Westchester, West Los Angeles, Mar Vista, Encino, North Hollywood, Sherman Oaks, Woodland Hills or other locations have insufficient funds to handle a modest increase in rent.
The Product Price Index used in New York Rent Control indicates that essential housing services and products have increased by 18%. In our own city, we’ve seen trash retrieval increase each year by 10%, and water and sewage increased by almost 15%.
There has been a rise in registration fees and code enforcement fees. Our business license fees have increased. Insurance, property taxes, mortgages, bonds and parcel taxes have all increased.
Every Council Member has seen their local hardware stores raise their prices recently. A 1/2-horsepower garbage disposal used to be $35; now it’s $150. A 30-inch gas range for an apartment was $199; now $600. An 18-cubic-foot frost-free refrigerator was $299 it is now $600. Most supplies needed by landlords are stuck on container ships parked in the Long Beach/San Pedro Harbor.
There has been little or no relief for earthquake retrofitting and balcony / stair repair.
Drought: The city is requiring all of us to cut and monitor our water usage. And yet, the council will not permit tenants on single master water meters to pay for water, sewage and trash.
Against this background, take down the rent freeze. It is so simple. In 2019 through 2020, the annual increase was set at 4%. In 2020 it was capped at 3%. In 2021, 4.2%. And most recently, in September 2022 the cap was set at 7.8%.
All of the enabling declarations and statements by our City Council and Mayor Garcetti identified the rent freeze as merely being suspended.
What is the formula? I believe every year we calculate the increase, then, under the law, bank that increase, and merely suspend collection until the Council allows.
No, you cannot go back and pick up the arrearages, but you are moving forward by adjusting the maximum allowable rent (Mar).
Effective February 1, 2023, we can notify our tenant what his or her adjusted rent may be. It’s only fair because the cost of managing buildings has gone up by at least 10 % if you use the CPI and 18% by using the Product Price Index.
Inflation has caused hardship for owners, while the burden of the Covid lockdown is still on us.
There is no legal mechanism where the owner loses the annual rental adjustment; otherwise, this would be an unconstitutional taking of private property without due process or compensation.
The lawsuits are coming. One is already being constituted by the huge developer Geoffrey Palmer.
Conclusion: Do the right thing. This is the SOLUTION. Michael Millman, Esq.
UNCONSTITUTIONAL TAKING OF PROPERTY RIGHTS!
Dear Council Members:
The Supreme Court has said that the costs of some act of government that is meant to benefit a community must be borne by that whole community.
The city, to benefit the community of renters, has placed the entire cost and burden on one profession – the housing providers (landlords). No other class of business or profession has been required to bear the entire cost and burden of this city’s desire to give renters free rent.
It is obvious to all that there are more renters than landlords. This was two wolves and a sheep voting on what’s for dinner. In addition, the Constitution of the United States forbids interference with contracts. This government stepped right in between landlords and tenants and not only interfered with, but outright broke the existing contracts between landlords and tenants. This was an unconstitutional act, and remains an unconstitutional imposition.
The Founders of this country would have ridden you out of town on a rail had you dared to try it in front of them. “BrightSprite”
MORE TENANTS’ RIGHTS… ARE YOU KIDDING?
Dear Council Members:
I write to ask the City Council to exhibit caution in voting for more tenant rights. Although increasing tenant’s rights appeals to some, Los Angeles’s rent control and regulatory policies present a strong disincentive for investing in rental property in the Los Angeles area .
I know this from personal experience. Some years ago, I was planning on investing in an apartment building in L,A. While actively evaluating various buildings, the city announced mandatory earthquake retrofits. This added considerable costs to older buildings, reducing their attractiveness as investments. Rather than invest in L.A, I purchased rental properties in Dallas.
Investing in L.A.-based rental property no longer makes business sense. My family came to L.A. from Europe in the 1950’s in absolute poverty, having lost everything in World War II. They and their many friends ascended the economic ladder by building or purchasing small apartment buildings. They managed these buildings for most of their lifetimes, passing them on to their children. The 10-unit building my family had since 1965 served my family well. It provided income for us when I was in college during the terrible recession in the late 1970’s. When my parents and brother were ill, income from the building covered their long-term care needs. After they died, my mother left the building behind with the expressed desire to not sell it so that it could provide income for my indigent sister. This plan has not worked out for lack of profit attributable to large costs associated with a mandated soft-story retrofit, substantial increases in operating costs because of inflation and lack of income from tenants not paying rent during COVID.
The bottom line is that the combination of progressively increasing tenant protections and increased costs without the ability for a rental property owner to manage their expense structure or ensure an income stream, has made L.A. extremely unattractive as an investment destination for rental property. Based on my family’s experience with small-unit rental property, it is obvious to me that today’s housing shortage in L.A. results from a lack of incentive to purchase and manage rental property in the city. The worst aspect of this is that owning small-unit properties is no longer a mechanism for people of limited means to climb the economic ladder in Los Angeles. Sincerely, Ed L.
TO THE MAYOR OF PASADENA
Dear Mayor Gordo,
I am attaching a partial article from the November issue of AOA (Apartment Owners Association of California, Inc.) which talks about rent control. A Harvard economist named Ed Glaeser said “The most natural tool towards affordability is supply, and to make sure that we are making it easy enough to build moderate cost rental apartment buildings in the cities.”
But not ironically, most cities with rent control, or that are seriously discussing it or themselves, are guilty of making it way too difficult to build housing – which makes all new construction more expensive.
We have experienced this first hand over and over again. It took us four years to get an ADU permit for [our Pasadena property]. We have been working for the better part of a year to get the approvals for an ADU at [another property in Pasadena]. and are currently hung up in the approval process for fire sSprinklers there. Each review takes at least a month and any revision can take at least another month to two months. Most people cannot handle the carrying costs associated with the development process in Pasadena.
A wonderful legacy that you could leave as mayor would be to actually speed up the development review timeline. The process is extremely arduous and demanding. Plus, the fees are quite expensive. You would then succeed by creating a friendlier city – while providing more housing at a lower rate due to natural market demands. The problem with these long drawn out reviews is that it adds to the expense, and thus the unit does not stand a chance of being presented as affordable housing. The units have to be upgraded and the rents have to be raised to match the amount of time and cost that the units cost due to the review process cost.
I hope that this helps you in your discussion with the City Council pertaining to rent control and housing affordability. Sincerely, Ann-Marie V.