Request asks for $5,000 mandatory penalty if repairs not done within 16 days
Subject: Revised Proposed automatic mandatory fines due to lack of property maintenance — the BARRETT-BECK ordinance – to protect Renters
From: (tenant name and email redacted)
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Cc: email@example.com; firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com;
Date: Thursday, August 16, 2018 6:13 PM
Revised Proposed automatic mandatory fines due to lack of property maintenance — the BARRETT-BECK ordinance – to protect Renters
Dear Mayor and Council:
- Based on the Mayor Quarterly report below, I ask that the city place in committee a proposed ordinance to address the need for zero tolerance for lack of maintenance in all city Los Angeles apartment buildings:
- This ordinance would apply to all apartments, including rent controlled properties, with two units or more.
- It would not apply to tenants who rent/lease commercial properties.
- It would apply to all multifamily dwellings and hotels.
- It would apply to all multifamily dwellings for rent or lease, without regard to date built.
- “Maintenance” shall be as defined by the State Health and Safety Code, the Los Angeles Municipal Code, and including but not limited to those two sources, as long as the item needing repair is not due to the fault of the tenant.
- The burden of proving how the item came into disrepair shall be on the property owner and their maintenance records.
- “Maintenance” shall include “repair, replace, or remove”.
- There shall be an automatic mandatory fine of $5,000 payable by the property owner for each separate item in need of repair.
- Items needing repair can be “substantial” or non-substantial as long as they are “housing services” for the use of the tenant, housing services as defined by the rental agreement or by the Los Angeles Municipal Code, or otherwise.
- The assessment of the $5,000 is not dependent on a determination of whether the repair item is substantial or not.
- The items needing repairs are limited to those housing services that occur on the inside of the apartment unit themselves per tenant. “Repairs” do not include repairs needed to the outside of the property but do include repairs needed to the common areas used by the tenants.
- The tenant must contact the owner for repairs by notifying the owner by the owner requested form or notification; the tenant may also use any other means of the contacting the owner or his agents or employees, by phone, in person, email, letter, or otherwise.
- The tenant must inform the city HCIDLA of the request to the owner of the need for repairs.
- The tenant must make three different complaints for each repair needed, and copy the City on all.
- On the 16th day, or thereafter, from the date of the first report of need for maintenance, the city shall automatically access a mandatory fine of $5,000 against the owner for each item needing repair. The assessment shall only be dependent on the receipt by the city of copies of the written complaints from the tenant. Upon receipt by the department HCIDLA of the tenant request for repairs, it shall be assumed from the tenant request that the repairs have not been completed.
- If repairs for each item noted are not completed within 35 days from the date of the original reported complaint, on the 36th day the property owner shall be accessed an additional $5,000 per each separate repair needed.
- If repairs for each item noted are not completed within 60 days from the date of the original reported complaint, on the 61st day the property owner shall be accessed an additional $5,000 per day per repair needed until the repairs are completed.
- The monies collected from fines will be placed in a special city bank account from which tenants may apply to use the monies for repairs.
- Property owners may appeal from the fines accessed only after the fines have been paid.
- If fines are not paid in a timely manner, the city may place a lien against the property. Please let me know when this matter will go before committee.
Signed: (tenant 9 name, phone, email redacted, 1522 Hi Point St)
“In the Mayor’s webpage Quarterly Report Latest Status Report – July 1, 2013 to June 30, 2017.pdf, it is stated “resolved 19,019 tenant complaints, resolved 10,078 illegal eviction complaint cases, secured $23.2 million in relocation assistance for 1,859 families, and restored 31,854 rent complaints.”