LA Anti-Landlord Harassment Ordinance

May 25, 2019

Los Angeles Housing Committee Item No. 14- 0268-S13 – Community Impact Statement- ILLEGAL RENT COMPLAINT RE HI POINT APTS – a rent controlled building

From: (tenant name and email redacted)

To: hcidla.rso.central@lacity.org;cynthia@powerpropertygrp.com;jade@powerpropertygrp.com;highpoint1522@gmail.com

Cc: cityclerk@lacity.org; adam.lid@lacity.org; mayor.garcetti@lacity.org; paul.koretz@lacity.org; councilmember.cedillo@lacity.org; councilmember.wesson@lacity.org; councilmember.krekorian@lacity.org; daniel.lee@culvercity.org; goran.eriksson@culvercity.org; thomas.small@culvercity.org; robert.galardi@lacity.org; steve.ongele@lacity.org; councilmember.buscaino@lacity.org; info@da.lacounty.gov; councilmember.huizar@lacity.org; councilmember.ofarrell@lacity.org; councilmember.englander@lacity.org; councilmember.harris-dawson@lacity.org; mike@11thdistrict.com; councilmember.price@lacity.org; councilmember.rodriguez@lacity.org; councilmember.martinez@lacity.org

Date: Saturday, May 25, 2019, 6:39 PM PDT

ILLEGAL RENT COMPLAINT RE HI POINT APTS – a rent controlled building

From: (tenant name and email redacted)

To: hcidla.rso.central@lacity.org

Cc: cityclerk@lacity.org; adam.lid@lacity.org; mayor.garcetti@lacity.org; paul.koretz@lacity.org; councilmember.cedillo@lacity.org; councilmember.wesson@lacity.org; councilmember.krekorian@lacity.org

TO: Cynthia Reynosa, Jade Beck, Kassandra Harris, Hi Point Apts LLC, Walter Barratt,Courtney Doran Gloria Torres Mariana Lamb Lisa Romero– Martinez Marina Lem Roberto Aldape Lydia Perez Lydia Pena Daniel B Gomez, Erika Garcia Donya Plazo Jorge de la Torre Robert Galardi Javier Melendez Brian Beltran Norman Koplan ; David Zaitz; Nell Dizon; Glender Chu; Elva Valdovinas; Marcella DeShurley ; Emma Garcia; Susan Gosden ;Rushmore Cervantes, Lilly Fuentes Claudia Monterrosa Laura K Gugliemo, Bessie Corrales, Sally Richman, Alfonso Perez, Sharon Lowe, Luz Santiago, Lyndon Salvador Zachary Millet Rosa Benavides, Greg Kung

DEAR Garcetti RSD LA, et al:

Tenants unit 9 still have not received rent reimbursements for reduction of maintenance to the intercom system, and reduction parking from tandem stall to single stall. In addition, the city government has refused to explain what are the qualifications for getting maintenance to the intercom system —“equal privileges and services”— and refused to explain what are the qualifications for being assigned tandem parking —“equal privileges and services”.

Those issues above mean we continue to pay an illegal rent.

In addition, there is the matter of capital improvements increase of $17.08. City decision Issued May 8 2015. That increase included the replacement of the intercom system (of which ours was not replaced or repaired). We are paying an increase for an intercom system that only benefits other tenants. That increase also included the installation of exterior lights to the building. Those exterior lights have since recently failed in their entirety, thus we pay an illegal rent for the exterior lights. The increase for the exterior lighting was .89 cents per unit. The increase for the intercom-door entry was $.44 cents per unit. We pay for the replacement of the building intercom system, but ours was not repaired or replaced. We are owed rent reimbursement of $.44 cents per month since 2015 May. Our rent must be reduced by $.89 cents forward per unit for the total failure of the exterior lights. . (Previously attached to the City email March 25, 2019).

The 2015 Capital Improvements decision of the city stated, “proper statutory notice must be given to tenants before any rent increase can become effective.” The attached 2019-1-12 PPM Notice of Unpaid rent does not constitute proper statutory notice. In addition, the owner accepted rent which he alleges was the incorrect amount; since he cashed the checks (and money orders), he waived any right to complain that the rent amount as submitted was not correct. We are entitled to rent reimbursement for the owner not serving the proper statutory notice, such rent reimbursements to go back within the last three years. (Previously attached to the City March 25, 2019).

In addition, I attach selected rent checks for the time period 6/1/17 thru Mar 1, 2019. The owner can only demand a rent increase —under rent control ordinance—every 12 months. Any increase that occurs less than 12 months is illegal rent. A rent increase can only be demanded thru the proper statutory 30 day notice. On June 21 2017, the owner served a rent increase notice of $1398.65 due. Less than 12 months later, the owner served another notice dated 4-7- 2018 for $1464.40 rent. On 1-12-2019 the owner served an illegal notice of unpaid rent due for $1467.55; the notice of January 12 did not comply with statutory requirements of 30 days notice; the Jan 12 notice was served less than twelve months from the notice of April 7, 2018. We seek rent reimbursements for paying an illegal rent. (Previously attached to the City March 25, 2019).

The owner did not serve the 30 day notice required to claim the rent of $1467.55

1. Attached is the Notice of Rent Increase to $1554.36 served by mail on May 21 by Hi Point Apts LLC agent Power Property Management.

2. Attached is the “Statement of Registration of Rental Units” for 2019-2020. The 2018-2019 for the previous year, was was never served on us, as indicated in my emails of August 18, 2018 and March 25, 2019. I demand rent reimbursements for all tenants who were not served with the “Statement of Registration of Rental Units” for 2018- 2019 for address 1522 Hi Point St Apts 90035.

3. I cannot understand why the city allows landlords a rent increase when housing services have been denied, as in this case herein. Our parking was reduced at a city value of $200 per month for the last 36 months look back, but we have not received that money rent reimbursement. Please remit today to the address below 36 x $200 = $7,200.

4. The city needs to pass an ordinance that when housing services are denied, a property owner will be prohibited from demanding or collecting a yearly rent increase.

5. The owner notice of 2018 demanded rent of $1464.40 on June 1, 2018.
6. On January 12, 2019 the owner management company demanded rent of $1467.55, however no 30 day notice was ever served on us for that amount.
7. From June 1, 2018 to January 12, 2019, the required 12 month period had not passed, making the January 12 demanded rent an “illegal rent”.
8. May 21, 2019, the owner has demanded $1554.36 by notice, claiming the previous (base) rent was $1446.86. However, the owner never served us a notice that the base rent was $1446.86.
9. Twelve months have not elapsed since the January 12, 2019 (illegal) notice of rent increase, making the May 21 2019 notice (attached) illegal.
10. RSO is requested to please site the owner for an illegal rent increase.
11. The city is asked to penalize Cynthia Reynosa $10,000 for serving an illegal notice of rent increase, that she served for purposes of harassment.
12. The city is asked to penalize Kassandra Harris $10,000 for being involved in the service of illegal rent increase served for purposes of harassment.

 

13. The city needs to stabilize rents and eliminate yearly rent increases.

If you need additional information, please contact me by first class mail.

ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

(tenant name and phone redacted)

1522 HI POINT ST 9

LOS ANGELES CA 90035

Reference: all code violation complaints regarding this property; David Lee
Communication from the Public – Regarding Los Angeles Housing Committee Item No. 14- 0268-S13 – Community Impact Statement
Harassment Complaint against Hi Point Apts LLC and Power Property Management
1522 Hi Point St 9
Los Angeles CA 90035
 (tenant name and phone redacted)
cc: Culver City : Councilperson Daniel Lee; vice mayor Eriksson; councilmember Small
(Reference: A similar email was sent to out on March 25, 2019 at 1:56 pm with attachments.)
2019-5-21 Recd 2019-2020 Statement of Registration of Units 1522 Renewal.pdf
2019-5-21 Notice of Change Rent Increase 1522.pdf
 (Editor: Portions of this email have been redacted)

 

Monday, May 6, 2019

City to meet to hear harassment concerns on May 8

City told of denial of housing services 

PPMG employees are Brent Parsons, Thomas Khammar, Jackie Gallardo, Jeanette Conway, Alva Corodo, Fidel Medina, Joel Murrillo, Javier Guevarra, Liliano Morales, Edi Hernandez, Justice Walker

 

Subject: COUNCIL FILE #14-0268-S13 re Harassment Ordinance to Stop Landlord Harassment of Tenants- Housing Services Needed

From: (tenant name and email redacted)

To: walter.barratt@gmail.com; highpoint1522@gmail.com; jade@powerpropertygrp.com; cynthia@powerpropertygrp.com

Cc: adam.lid@lacity.org; cityclerk@lacity.org; councilmember.cedillo@lacity.org; councilmember.harris-dawson@lacity.org; councilmember.krekorian@lacity.org; sharon.dickinson@lacity.org

Date: Monday, May 6, 2019, 6:06 PM PDT

To whom it may concern city committee members, property owner Hi Point Apts, LLC, manager

Kasandra Harris. Jade Beck, Power Property management group:

To Power Property Management Group
Hi Point Apts LLC
Jade Beck, Walter Barratt, agent and manager Kassandra Harris, Resident Manager of 1522 Hi Point St Apts 90035
City Los Angeles Government

April 29, 2019

The intercom system in unit 9 remains in unusable state and general dilapidation and requires maintenance.

Also in 2014 you said that we could be assigned a tandem parking stall if we were first and if we paid $50.00. We are first and our parking is paid thru inclusion in the rent amount as the owner has told the city in writing. Please inform us by first class mail what are the qualifications for intercom repair and the assignment of tandem parking.

Thru this communication I ask that the city housing fine each PPMG employee $10,000 as individuals for harassment and retaliation.PPMG employees are Brent Parsons, Thomas Khammar, Jackie Gallardo, Jeanette Conway, Alva Corodo, Fidel Medina, Joel Murrillo, Javier Guevarra, Liliano Morales, Edi Hernandez, Justice Walker

I request Power Property Management Group of Culver City…appear at the meeting to give their reasons for denial of housing services to Black tenants, and reasons for refusal to give rent reimbursements due to reduction in housing services and give their reasons for their harassment of Black tenants at 1522 Hi Point St Apts 90035. Even though we pay our rent on time on the 1st every month, on the 3rd of the month—even after I have asked them not to email us—PPMG and the owner harass us with an email saying the rent is late. They refuse to give rent receipts on the 1st. They refuse to take my email address off their email list.

 

From the property owner I demand $300/month reimbursement for the reduction in parking x 36 months = $10,800.

City to meet to hear harassment concerns

“The Anti Tenant Harassment Ordinance will be discussed at the Housing Committee meeting May 8, 3pm, in Room 1010, City Hall, 200 N. Spring St, LA 90012.

“Enter on back side of building, on MAIN ST.

“Plan to be there by 2:30 to go through security and sign up for public comment, if you want to speak. You will have 1 minute to speak, so it’s a good idea to write down what you want to say ahead of time. There will be Spanish interpretation.

“If you can’t be there, but want your thoughts known, send emails to the following people on the Committee:

councilmember.cedillo@lacity.org
councilmember.harris-dawson@lacity.org
concilmember.krekorian@lacity.org
cc to adam.lid@lacity.org and sharon.dickinson@lacity.org

“IN THE SUBJECT LINE PUT: COUNCIL FILE#14-0268-S13

“Keep your story to no more than 1 1/2 pages. Tell them why we need this NOW.
Tell the Committee that it is important to move this matter forward, with all the amendments, with all possible speed.

“For free City Hall parking, call your City Councilperson’s office the day before and say you need a parking pass for City Hall May 8 to attend a hearing.

“The parking entrance is on Los Angeles St. West side of street.”

[FROM LA TENANTS UNION]

 

All rights reserved.

(tenant name redacted) 1522 Hi Point St 9; Los Angeles CA 90035

References:

Kasandra Harris- resident manager : highpoint1522@gmail.com

Walter Barratt, manager and agent for Hi Point Apts LLC : walter.barratt@gmail.com

Jade Beck  at Power Property Management Group: jade@powerpropertygrp.com

 

April 25, 2019

City Committee Told of

Illegal Rent Charges 

Subject: City ordinances regarding illegal rent increases

From: (tenant name and email redacted)

To: jade@powerpropertygrp.com; hcidla.rso.central@lacity.org; hcidla.reap@lacity.org; highpoint1522@gmail.com

Cc: cynthia@powerpropertygrp.com; walter.barratt@gmail.com; mayor.garcetti@lacity.org; david.ryu@lacity.org; councilmember.wesson@lacity.org; councilmember.bonin@lacity.org; councilmember.englander@lacity.org; councilmember.rodriguez@lacity.org; councilmember.ofarrell@lacity.org; councilmember.martinez@lacity.org; councilmember.price@lacity.org; councilmember.huizar@lacity.org; councilmember.buscaino@lacity.org

Date: Thursday, April 25, 2019, 6:27 PM PDT

Power Property Management Group Jade Beck via email

Kasandra Harris, Resident Manager via email
Walter Barratt, owner of Hi Point Apts LLC via email of record

Power Property Management Group Agent for Hi Point Apts LLC
PO Box 472
Culver City, California 90230

Power Property Management Group staff includes: Brent Parsons, Thomas Khammar, Jackie Gallardo, Jeanette Conway, Alva Corodo, Fidel Medina, Joel Murrillo, Javier Guevarra, Liliano Morales, Edi Hernandez, Justice Walker

Adam R. Lid, Legislative Assistant (adam.lid@lacity.org) Housing Committee Room 1010

City Hall
200 North Spring St Los Angeles CA 90012

Councilmember Gilbert A. Cedillo
Councilmember Paul Krekorian
Councilmember Marqueece Harris-Dawson
Gladys Acevedo, Anna Ortega, Laura K. Guglielmo, Rushmore D. Cervantes, Roberto H. Aldape

Communication from the Public – Regarding Los Angeles Housing Committee Item No. 14-0268-S13

The owner of the property, and the owner’s agents and others, have restricted tradesman from making repairs to my unit’s intercom system, which is prohibited by LAMC section 41.33.

The owner can only demand a rent increase —under rent control ordinance—every 12 months. Any increase that occurs less than 12 months is illegal rent. A rent increase can only be demanded thru the proper statutory 30 day notice. On June 21 2017, the owner served a rent increase notice of $1398.65 due. Less than 12 months later, the owner served another notice dated 4-7- 2018 for $1464.40 rent. On 1-12-2019 the owner served an illegal notice of unpaid rent due for $1467.55; the notice of January 12 did not comply with statutory requirements of 30 days notice; the Jan 12 notice was served less than twelve months from the notice of April 7, 2018. The Notice served April 7, 2018 was served less that the required 12 months period. We seek rent reimbursements for paying an illegal rent.

The last illegal rent increase notice was served by the owner on January 21, 2019. The next notice of rent increase cannot be served or demanded until 12 months from the January 21, 2019 date. If any notice for rent increase is served before January 21, 2020, it may result in a rent stabilization complaint being filed against Hi Point Apts LLC and Power Property Management Group.

 

All rights reserved.

(tenant name and phone redacted)

1522 Hi Point St 9; Los Angeles CA 90035

RAC guidelines state:

“EMPLOYEE‐MANAGER – An employee‐manager is a resident manager who is required to reside on the premises as a condition of employment. The employee‐manager receives compensation in the form of a free rental unit plus income. The income received by the employee‐manager shall meet the minimum wage standards of the State of Califor‐ nia. Unless already a tenant, or granted a right of tenancy in a written agreement, the employee‐manager is not entitled to the eviction protections of the RSO.”

RAC also details the Manager Duties:

Ksandra Harris’ job is to maintain the premises, which she has not done because the intercom system is still not fully operational.

RESIDENT MANAGER – A manager, custodian, housekeeper, or other responsible person who resides on the premises and acts as the owner’s agent in maintaining the premises. A resident manager is entitled to the protections of the Rent Stabilization  Ordinance (RSO) unless they are an employee‐manager as defined in Regulation 920.02.

“I ask that $50,000 each be accessed against Walter Barratt, Hi Point Apts, LLC, Power Property Management Group, Jade Beck, Cynthia Reynosa, and Kasandra Harris, resident manager. Kasandra Harris’ contact information is ph 213-908-8008 and email is highpoint1522@gmail.com.” (via email Feb. 9, 2019)

LAMC 41.33 Peaceful Enjoyment

SEC. 41.33. LANDLORDS – DISTURBING TENANTS.
No person, except a duly authorized officer pursuant to the authority of legal process, shall interfere with the peaceful enjoyment, use, possession or occupancy of any premises by the lawful lessee or tenant of such premises either by threat, fraud, intimidation, coercion, duress, or by the maintenance or toleration of a public nuisance, or by cutting off heat, light, water, fuel or free communication by anyone by mail, telephone or otherwise, or by restricting trade or tradesmen from or to any such tenant.

February 20, 2019

Tenant Demands Fair Housing from City Employees and Apartment Manager

Kasandra Harris
Resident Manager
(Power Property Management Group)
Kasandra Harris
Resident Manager
1522 Hi Point St #12
Los Angeles  CA   90035
highpoint1522@gmail.com
Ph. 213-908-8008

Dear Resident Manager:

1. I would appreciate it if you conduct yourself in a professional, reasonable and good faith manner, as required in the rental agreement.
2. Our quiet and peaceful enjoyment of the premises is not to be disturbed.

“…I do not give you permission to email me…”

3. In accordance with applicable law, please do not call or email me unless you have an emergency. This only applies to employees  and agents of Hi Point Apts LLC. Also normal communication should occur by posting on the unit door or via US mail. I email you because of the lack of response from the owner/agents over the years. I have used every form of communication available as well as those forms requested by the owner, but the housing services I will detail still remain unresolved. I email you as proof that I have contacted you.I do not give you permission to email me.That goes for employees of Power Property Management Group also. I do not consider this email to be an emergency.
4. Your title is listed as “property manager”. I assume this means you are the resident manager because that is what is required in this 18 unit building. If you are not the “resident manager” or if you are not required to live here as a condition of employment, please let me know.
5. My understanding from the rent control laws is that your apartment experienced primary renovations circa 2014. According to city records, no tenant habitability plan (“THP”) was ever served on the tenant that occupied unit 12 before the repairs. City ordinance requires that if no THP was filed and served, then the owner was not allowed to raise the rent; thus a tenant like yourself would have to pay no more than the tenant who was subject to the primary renovations. You can read the rent stabilization ordinance for guidance on this.

“…your unit suffered lead and asbestos contamination…”

6. Your unit also as a result of primary renovations, suffered lead and asbestos contamination. Based on city records, your unit suffered demolition. City records show that the owner did not conduct adequate lead and asbestos testing of my unit 9, but our unit was not the subject of renovations yet. But for your unit, the subject of renovations as well as all other units except 9, 8, and 5, there were no safe work practices and no licensed hazardous materials contractor on site. Which means to me that you could this very minute be exposed to lead, and particularly, asbestos contamination. This is also documented in a previous lawsuit filed against Hi Point Apts LLC and the city government of Los Angeles.

“…resident manager in a building with over sixteen units …is entitled to free rent…”

7. The city municipal code (“LAMC”) states that a resident manager in a building with over sixteen rent controlled units is entitled to free rent. For more info, see the LAMC. I hope you are getting free rent. If not, I observed that the three previous resident managers before you also did not get free rent, according to government documents.
8. Your job is “maintaining the premises”. See RAC guidelines below 920.01. That means you are responsible for making sure the parking is allocated in a fair and non-discriminatory manner and making sure all tenants receive maintenance to all housing services which includes the intercom system. Your job is to act in a good faith and reasonable manner, which also means making sure the back interior stairs are in safe condition.
9. The lack of communication on the parking and intercom not only disturbs my peaceful enjoyment of the premises, but it shall also constitute “harassment” under the city proposed local ordinance, and I hope the actions of Hi Point Apts LLC will subject it to fines of $50,000 for each agent and employee.
10. This email is being copied to the city housing committee as well as the rent stabilization department..hcidla.rso.central@lacity.org
(Editor note: the rent can only be raised once every twelve months in a rent controlled building. If the owner tries to raise the rent in less than a twelve month period from the last increase, that is an illegal rent increase.)

Parking Stalls

13. Parking stalls. City rent control regulations state that if a housing service is removed, or not maintained, and the tenant is not given a rent reduction, then the tenant is paying illegal rent, and must be given a rent reduction. Previous to this current owner, our apt had the tandem two car stall. The new owner threatened us with eviction if we did not move to a one car stall, which we did. Since that time I have seen tenants come and go and receive the two car stall while we still only have a single stall. The owner once said the tandem stalls were first come first served but that has not applied to myself as a Black tenant so I still do not have the privilege of a tandem parking stall, while I see other tenants request to be moved, or tenants who request a two car stall but only have one car. My complaints about this unfair discriminatory system, and my requests for a copy of the parking availability rules that apply to all tenants, have been ignored by Walter and Cliff for over four years. By the way, the city government HCIDLA Barbara Brascia recently said that the owner can charge a fee for the extra tandem stall, I guess admitting that there are not enough tandem stall for all 18 tenants, and admitting that there are 20 stalls but 18 tenants, but was not communicated to all tenants and appeared to single me out for unfair treatment. However my questions as to what are the qualifications to get a tandem stall i.e. race, sex, age, and what is the fee, and what is the application process, have been ignored by the owner and the city government Brascia and others. If you Kasandra, know of the application process, please forward me a copy of the form. I also believe , however, that any fee for parking would be an illegal rent increase since (1) our rent agreement says parking is included in the rent and (2) city documents show the owner has told the city that parking is included in the rent amount.

Intercoms

 

14. Intercoms. The intercom is a safety and security feature. Every apartment should have a working intercom to assure that the building is not substandard, unsafe, and unsanitary. My apt and I believe two others do not have a working intercom in this 18 unit building. I have reported this repeatedly over the past four years to the city employees as well as to the owner, which is my duty under state law and under the rent agreement to report such conditions; the city government and the owner remain unresponsive and the intercom does not work. As a Black tenant, due to the conduct of the parties, apparently I am not entitled to a working intercom, such practice I feel is a violation of my civil rights under federal, state, and local law, and harassment and retaliation because I complained.

This is a Public document. All rights reserved.
 

(tenant name and phone redacted)

1522 Hi Point St 9
Los Angeles  CA   90035
cc: city Housing Committee
ref: RSO complaint January 15, 2019 – city case number CE240180
city ref: Communication from the Public – Regarding Los Angeles Housing Committee Item No. 14-0268-S13
LAMC RAC:
  1. 920.01  RESIDENT MANAGER – A manager, custodian, housekeeper, or other responsible person who resides on the premises and acts as the owner’s agent in maintaining the premises. A resident manager is entitled to the protections of the Rent Stabilization Ordinance (RSO) unless they are an employee-manager as defined in Regulation 920.02.
  2. 920.02  EMPLOYEE-MANAGER – An employee-manager is a resident manager who is required to reside on the premises as a condition of employment. The employee-manager receives compensation in the form of a free rental unit plus income. The income received by the employee-manager shall meet the minimum wage standards of the State of Califor- nia. Unless already a tenant, or granted a right of tenancy in a written agreement, the employee-manager is not entitled to the eviction protections of the RSO.

 

February 11, 2019

City Asked to Level $50,000 Fines Against Power Property Management Group due to Harassment

 

SUBJECT: Actionable Harassment from Resident Manager Kasandra Harris and Cynthia Reynoso. Denial of Housing Services

From: (TENANT NAME AND EMAIL REDACTED)
To: cityclerk@lacity.org; adam.lid@lacity.org; councilmember.krekorian@lacity.org; councilmember.cedillo@lacity.org; councilmember.harris-dawson@lacity.org

Cc: cynthia@powerpropertygrp.com; jade@powerpropertygrp.com; walter.barratt@gmail.com; mayor.garcetti@lacity.org; david.ryu@lacity.org; councilmember.wesson@lacity.org; councilmember.bonin@lacity.org; councilmember.englander@lacity.org; councilmember.rodriguez@lacity.org; councilmember.ofarrell@lacity.org; councilmember.martinez@lacity.org; councilmember.price@lacity.org; councilmember.huizar@lacity.org; councilmember.buscaino@lacity.org

Date: Saturday, February 9, 2019, 10:36 PM PST

Communication from the Public – Regarding Los Angeles Housing Committee Item No. 14-0268-S13

“Los Angeles Mayor and Council Say Rental Tenants and Applicants Suffer Devastating Harassment from Landlords”

But some tenants rights groups say city government is partly at fault for lack of enforcement

To:
City Clerk
200 North Spring Street Room 395
Los Angeles CA 90012 CityClerk@lacity.org

Adam R. Lid, Legislative Assistant (adam.lid@lacity.org) Housing Committee
Room 1010

City Hall
200 North Spring St Los Angeles CA 90012

 

Councilmember Gilbert A. Cedillo
Councilmember Paul Krekorian
Councilmember Marqueece Harris-Dawson
Gladys Acevedo, Anna Ortega, Laura K. Guglielmo, Rushmore D. Cervantes, Roberto H. Aldape

Dear City Council:

I am again through this email asking that the herein named individuals and companies be accessed the fines/penalty under the city’s upcoming Anti-by Landlord Harassment Ordinance.

I ask that $50,000 each be accessed against Walter Barratt, Hi Point Apts, LLC, Power Property Management Group, Jade Beck, Cynthia Reynosa, and Kasandra Harris, resident manager. Kasandra Harris’ contact information is ph 213-908-8008 and email is highpoint1522@gmail.com.

RAC guidelines state:

“EMPLOYEE‐MANAGER – An employee‐manager is a resident manager who is required to reside on the premises as a condition of employment. The employee‐manager receives compensation in the form of a free rental unit plus income. The income received by the employee‐manager shall meet the minimum wage standards of the State of Califor‐ nia. Unless already a tenant, or granted a right of tenancy in a written agreement, the employee‐manager is not entitled to the eviction protections of the RSO.”

RAC also details the Manager Duties:

Ksandra Harris’ job is to maintain the premises which she has not done because the intercom system is still not fully operational.

RESIDENT MANAGER – A manager, custodian, housekeeper, or other responsible person who resides on the premises and acts as the owner’s agent in maintaining the premises. A resident manager is entitled to the protections of the Rent Stabilization Ordi‐ nance (RSO) unless they are an employee‐manager as defined in Regulation 920.02.

Repeatedly I have been harassed by Cynthia Reynosa and Kasandra Harris. Cynthia Reynosa has repeatedly sent me emails after I specifically asked her to only communicate to me by posting at the unit door, or by US mail, unless of course she has an emergency. I consider this harassment because I have made code enforcement complaints which remain unresolved. Kasandra Harris has joined in with Reynosa and repeatedly (see attached letter from Harris dated Feb 9, 2019) in which she asks me for my parking space number. The parking space is space #14 of which was told to Power Property Management Group in 2014; the parking space number is also on the rent agreement that shows parking spaces for parking #1 (car) and parking #2 (car). The issue of the parking has been noted in numerous newspaper articles, two superior court lawsuits, and one federal lawsuit; and numerous rent control and code enforcement complaints, of which Kasandra Harris should be aware. Please Kasandra Harris, stop harassing unit 9 tenants and stop sending us emails. You already have the parking space information and we have a copy of the form to you to prove it, of which has already been made a Public Document in the hands of the City government of Los Angeles. (This is the third time PPMG has asked for this same information.)

Please do your job, Kasandra Harris, and get the intercom system fully operational today, and don’t forget the rent reimbursements to us. The only note you need to post on my door should pertain to an emergency, or that housing services are being provided, or per the state civil code section 1954.

Don’t disturb my peaceful enjoyment by asking for administrative information that you already have, or that is not a listed obligation under the rent agreement and applicable laws.

All rights reserved.

(Tenant name redacted)

1522 Hi Point St 9

Los Angeles CA 90035

cc: Property owner Walter Barratt via email
Management company Power Property Management Group via email

ref:

HI POINT APTS, LLC 201406410177 03/03/2014 ACTIVE CALIFORNIA

226 CARROLL CANAL VENICE CA 90291
WALTER BARRATT 226 CARROLL CANAL VENICE CA 90291

C2985621 POWER PROPERTY MANAGEMENT, INC.

Registration Date: 04/06/2007 Jurisdiction: CALIFORNIA Entity Type:

DOMESTIC STOCK
Status:
ACTIVE
Agent for Service of Process: BRENT PARSONS

8885 VENICE BLVD, SUITE 205 LOS ANGELES CA 90034

 

“Intercoms. The intercom is a safety and security feature. Every apartment should have a working intercom to assure that the building is not substandard, unsafe, and unsanitary. My apt and I believe three others do not have a working intercom in this 18 unit building. I have reported this repeatedly over the past two years to the city employees as well as to the owner, which is my duty under state law and under the rent agreement to report such conditions; the city government and the owner remain unresponsive over the last two years. As a Black tenant, by the conduct of the parties, apparently I am not entitled to a working intercom, such practice I feel is a violation of my civil rights under federal, state, and local law.” April 3, 2016 via email.

LAMC 41.33 Peaceful Enjoyment
SEC. 41.33. LANDLORDS – DISTURBING TENANTS.
No person, except a duly authorized officer pursuant to the authority of legal process, shall interfere with the peaceful enjoyment, use, possession or occupancy of any premises by the lawful lessee or tenant of such premises either by threat, fraud, intimidation, coercion, duress, or by the maintenance or toleration of a public nuisance, or by cutting off heat, light, water, fuel or free communication by anyone by mail, telephone or otherwise, or by restricting trade or tradesmen from or to any such tenant.

2019-2-9 Letter from Hi Point Manager Harris.pdf

 

 

2019-2-9 Letter from Manager HP Harris

Letter from Resident Manager Ignores Longstanding Maintenance and Parking Discrimination at 1522 Hi Point St Apts 90035

 

Kasandra Harris 1522 Hi Point St #12 Los Angeles  CA   90035 – 213-908-8008-  email: highpoint1522@gmail.com

Cynthia Reynosa – Power Property management group- cynthia@powerpropertygrp.com

 

 

January 22, 2019

Los Angeles Mayor and Council Say Rental Tenants and Applicants Suffer Devastating Harassment from Landlords

 

Los Angeles-

COMMENTARY

The city is considering a new anti-tenant harassment ordinance. The move is already causing discomfort for many, as it should. I will talk about some key points of the ordinance, then copy a letter I sent to the City Council in review, then end with a link which will take you to the City site if you want to download related documents which will include the city recommendations reviewed on this page.

  1. The proposal will be reviewed tomorrow January 23, 2019 at 3:00 pm before the City Housing Committee. At some point it may be sent to the city attorney to be drafted into a document to be voted on by the council.
  2. A lot of times the government will pass laws that either are not enforced or that don’t carry effective penalties behind them. This ordinance will be no different in that regards than any other government intervention.
  3. How much “tenant harassment” currently exists may be hard to determine. I would guess most landlords are fair and follow the laws. So this law will be in place to potentially punish everyone for the actions of a few unscrupulous landlords.
  4. Every landlord and tenant may want to read the ordinance recommendation report  (free to download online) because it gives a pretty good review of the housing picture in Los Angeles as it affects applicants, renters, and landlords.

  5. Coupled with other reports of this nature, it is my view that harassment by landlords is having a devastating effect on the local housing environment.
  6. On one hand it seems good that the council wants to take action; on the other hand, some groups have accused the government employees of participating in the harassment of tenants that occurs.
  7. I am not a favorite of government intervention. If passed, which I generally support it, it will place additional restrictions on multifamily dwelling owners while giving more protections to tenants.  In theory. I dislike government intervention because at times it takes away the rights that tenants are supposed to have under the rent/lease agreement.  There are also already harassment laws on the books and I wonder what will make this law different and not duplicative. I wonder what will the city government do about “harassment” that the state Department of Fair Employment and Housing and federal HUD is not able to do.
  8. I will refer to the recommendations for the ordinance as “report”.
  9. The report which appears to generate not from Los Angeles Housing but from the Rent Stabilization Department, as opposed, is created by the Housing Committee of the HCIDLA, which is the rent control department.
  10. The report “asks” should such ordinance apply to all units city wide, or just apply to rent controlled units.
  11. The report admits that under rent control, rents can be reset to market rate after a voluntary vacancy. In my opinion, that rule has created many of the problems that exist. Landlords harass tenants to get them to move in order to raise the rents to market rate. The city knows this. How about we pass a law that does not allow them to raise RSP units to market rate?
  12. HCIDLA claims that it investigates about 10,000 tenant complaints per year. That is a lot of problems, huh? The report says the complaints include illegal buyout agreements, illegal rent increases, and reduction in housing services.

  13. The report–comprised of about fifteen pages — states that if the ordinance is approved to protect all units as well as rent controlled, it will affect 840,000 rental units (640,000 RSO and 200,000 non RSO).
  14. The report summarized existing legal protections including for those living in San Francisco, Santa Monica, and West Hollywood. About two single sided pages.
  15. The report proposes a “definition” of harassment that would include 12 points: much of this is a mirror of the state health and safety codes. The report singles out “parking” and states it would be covered “if provided in the tenant’s contract”. Parking is a big issue because many complaints arise around was the parking agreement in writing, did the landlord violate the duty  to act in good faith and reasonable manner. Some tenants received parking privileges for years but it was never written into the rent agreement. I have asked the city to not limit housing services to just what is in the rent agreement, simply because many tenants can prove there was an oral agreement, or they can prove that they were receiving housing services like parking or something else in their apartment put there by the landlord. (See my email below on this subject).
  16. The city has RAC guidelines on what is a housing service and what are the reasons a landlord can raise the rent or not raise it after evictions. None of that is detailed in this report that in certain circumstances, a landlord is not allowed to raise the rent if a tenant moves. The problem is the city does not keep records on the reasons a unit goes vacant, which I believe is another lack of enforcement problem.
  17. The report says fines for violations should change from $1,000 to $10,000. See my email below as I recommend fines of $50,000 or more.
  18. Again, the report says RAC, and the report, recommends that the “RSO be amended to disallow parking removal when this service is included in an existing lease.” I object on the grounds that consideration should be given even if a housing service is not in the lease, but can clearly be shown that is being received by the tenant; my suggestion is in line with the LAMC RAC which states that “Housing services are services that are connected with the use or occupancy of a rental unit including, but not limited to, utilities (including light, heat, water and telephone), ordinary repairs or replacement, and maintenance including painting. The term also includes the provision of elevator service, laundry facilities and privileges, common recreational facilities, janitor service, resident manager, refuse removal, furnishings, food service, parking and any other benefits, privileges or facilities. (LAMC Sec. 151.02, Definition of Housing Services).” If the city passes an ordinance that requires parking to be in the rental agreement, then they are contradicted the above definition of housing services which do not say they have to be in the rental agreement. I believe the standard should be can the tenant prove they were receiving the housing service and for how long?
  19. Interesting, the report does not mention that various laws tell the landlord how to avoid harassment charges: just say you had a legitimate business reason for your actions.  They quote the AAGLA. See my email below.
  20. The report anticipates—get this one — that if the ordinance passes, there will an INCREASE in tenant complains to the housing department, i.e complaints about harassment. And next—you guessed it—the city will have to hire more people and increase the annual rent registration fee, of which many tenants pay a part—-and the city could incur the cost of new employees at $1.5 million dollars.

January 21, 2019

Los Angeles Mayor and Council Say Rental Tenants and Applicants Suffer Devastating Harassment from Landlords

 

Subject: Communication from the Public – Regarding Los Angeles Housing Committee Item No. 14- 0268-S13 – Community Impact Statement

From: (name and email redacted)

To: CityClerk@lacity.org; adam.lid@lacity.org

Cc: amozannar@gmail.com; ali4servicing@gmail.com; charles.v.garcia@lacity.org; councilmember.bonin@lacity.org; councilmember.englander@lacity.org; councilmember.price@lacity.org; councilmember.ofarrell@lacity.org; thefirstjew@yahoo.com; councilmember.harris-dawson@lacity.org; councilmember.rodriguez@lacity.org; councilmember.huizar@lacity.org; councilmember.martinez@lacity.org; councilmember.blumenfield@lacity.org; councilmember.buscaino@lacity.org; david.ryu@lacity.org; paul.koretz@lacity.org; councilmember.cedillo@lacity.org

Date: Monday, January 21, 2019, 6:46 PM PST

Former Vice President Joe Biden, speaking at a breakfast Monday morning in Washington honoring Martin Luther King Jr., said that white Americans need to acknowledge and admit the fact that systemic racism still exists and must be rooted out.

“The bottom line is we have a lot to root out, but most of all the systematic racism that most of us whites don’t like to acknowledge even exists,” Biden said at an event hosted by the Rev. Al Sharpton and the National Action Network. “We don’t even consciously acknowledge it. But it’s been built into every aspect of our system.”

“Los Angeles Mayor and Council Say Rental Tenants and Applicants Suffer Devastating Harassment from Landlords”

 

But some tenants rights groups say city government is partly at fault for lack of enforcement

To:

City Clerk

200 North Spring Street Room 395

Los Angeles CA 90012 CityClerk@lacity.org

Adam R. Lid, Legislative Assistant (adam.lid@lacity.org)
Housing Committee
Room 1010

City Hall
200 North Spring St
Los Angeles CA 90012

Councilmember Gilbert A. Cedillo
Councilmember Paul Krekorian
Councilmember Marqueece Harris-Dawson
Gladys Acevedo, Anna Ortega, Laura K. Guglielmo, Rushmore D. Cervantes, Roberto H. Aldape

Dear City Council:

I have made numerous code enforcement and RSO complaints since 2014. Yet I still do not have maintenance to my intercom, and I still am denied additional housing services of tandem parking, and denied reductions in rent. See Government Code California section 12927 below. I comment briefly on the proposed ordinance in light of the city government participated housing discrimination and corruption I continue to be damaged by.

1. The proposed ordinance should address changes in the RSD and code enforcement departments to address racism and corruption.
2. Landlords who desire to conduct primary renovations which affect tenants, should only be allowed to do so after 6 months from the date of purchase of the property.

 

3. The ordinance if approved, should be required to be given to every tenant applicant with their lease or rental agreement upon inception of tenancy, not retroactive.
4. Landlords who file the THP application, if still applicable for primary repairs, must complete repairs within six months of application approval. No completion means mandatory $50,000 fine. An application for primary renovations must be prohibited from being withdrawn.

5. Under the background section page 3. It states (landlords) “…refusing to conduct repairs required by law.” That should be amended to say “repairs required by law and/or the rental or lease agreement, or agreed upon by the conduct of the parties”. 6. Indeed, all sections of the ordinance that mention rights under law should include the words “repairs required by law and/or the rental or lease agreement, or the conduct of the parties”. Verbal agreements to rent or repair are recognized as legal I believe.

7. Yes, the ordinance should apply to all rental units—840,000 you say—-because why should there be two sets of such standards? This would be in compliance since most state and federal discrimination laws do not separate rent controlled tenants from non-rent controlled as regards “services”. See GC section 12927 below.

8. A city ordinance can add to rights that already exist under state or federal law, but it cannot limit or curtail rights already existing under state or federal law.
9. You state on page 3, “failure to perform necessary repairs”. I ask that the word “necessary” be amended to “Failure to perform necessary or agreed to repairs”, for numerous reasons, basically if a service provided to the tenant is not working, it is inherent that it is “necessary” to repair it, i.e. all services provided to the tenant should be in working order. See excerpt Health and Safety code below which does not mention the word “necessary”.

10. Ordinance concerning right to enter I believe states “necessary or agreed to” repairs. CC 1954 states “To make necessary or agreed repairs”. So your document should be amended to say “Failure to perform necessary or agreed to repairs”.

11. I am elderly. My complaints to the City have never been resolved since I continue to pay rent monies for an intercom that is not maintained, and for denial of housing services tandem parking, etc.
12. The city RSD and code enforcement departments need to face discipline for racist and corrupt practices, biased enforcement, and lack of required diligence.

13. The ordinance needs to address the level or severity of harassment that is actionable, i.e repeated, substantial, etc.
14. What will be the reporting process and deadlines? How will city employees contact tenants?

15. Your page 6 states: #1: “if provided in the tenant’s contract”. This should be amended to read: “Elimination of housing services (the city RAC already define “parking” as a housing service) as required by lease, rental agreement, contract, or as required by verbal agreement, conduct of the parties, or usual practice of the parties”.

 

16. I think it will be helpful to define “harassment” as well as “retaliation” because they are both closely linked. I believe the word “retaliation” is already defined under RSO and code enforcement health and safety laws.

17. Your page 7 mentions fines as $10,000. I ask that the RSO fine start at $50,000 and be applied at that point on a sliding scale based on county taxes paid on the property, or ability to pay. Landlords who gross more in rents will have to pay more as a mandatory fine.

18. It is certainly indicative that with any new ordinance, the city will find a way to hire more employees, as your state at a cost of $1.2 – $1.5 million. You state but I object to the fee being paid by tenants by raising the rent registration fees, unless it is declared that the increase will never be passed onto tenants. And you will hire these new employees at a cost of $1.5 million—and not one one penny will be spent to get my intercom fixed and get a tandem parking stall, which the City government could issue such order in a few minutes— I guess you cannot see the inequity.

19. Nothing in your proposed ordinance address the landlord duty to respond to a harassment complaint from the tenant. Violation of right to peaceful enjoyment occurs when the landlord refuses to respond to tenant complaints that are often repeated every time a tenants pays new rent. There should be a provision that tenants must first complain to the landlord and if the harassment does not stop at the point, when the tenant contacts the city, there will be an automatic fine against the owner upon receipt of the tenant complaint. Required Communications Provision.

20. You will spend $1.5 million for new salaries — but I still do not know who the resident manager is at this site, such information which should be required to be posted in the common are of this 18 unit building.
21. As indicated in RAC definition of “housing services”, there may be services available (present) to the tenant that may not be listed in the rental agreement because the city (and state health and safety code) says services are “including but not limited to” and “any other benefits, privileges or facilities. (LAMC Sec. 151.02, Definition of Housing Services).”

22. Your proposed city ordinance —by your own pattern and practice—will not benefit my roommate and myself, as Black American tenants.
23. This ordinance should apply to landlords, owners, managers, agents of owners, management companies, all of whom will be held severally and separately liable.

All rights reserved.

(tenant name redacted)

1522 Hi Point St 9

Los Angeles, CA 90035

 

Member Los Angeles Tenants Union; supporter of Black Lives Matter

Attachment

“New RSO Complaint filed against PPM and Hi Point Apts LLC – We have been paying an illegal rent for over four years” email dated Jan 15, 2019 at 10:03 pm. The attachment to the Jan 15 email is referenced but not included herein.

GC 12927. As used in this part in connection with housing accommodations, unless a different meaning clearly appears from the context:

(c) (1) “Discrimination” includes refusal to sell, rent, or lease housing accommodations; includes refusal to negotiate for the sale, rental, or lease of housing accommodations; includes representation that a housing accommodation is not available for inspection, sale, or rental when that housing accommodation is in fact so available; includes any other denial or withholding of housing accommodations; includes provision of inferior terms, conditions, privileges, facilities, or services in connection with those housing accommodations; includes harassment in connection with those housing accommodations; includes the cancellation or termination of a sale or rental agreement; includes the provision of segregated or separated housing accommodations; includes the refusal to permit, at the expense of the disabled person, reasonable modifications of existing premises occupied or to be occupied by the disabled person, if the modifications may be necessary to afford the disabled person full enjoyment of the premises, except that, in the case of a rental, the landlord may, where it is reasonable to do so condition permission for a modification on the renter’s agreeing to restore the interior of the premises to the condition that existed before the modification (other than for reasonable wear and tear), and includes refusal to make reasonable accommodations in rules, policies, practices, or services when these accommodations may be necessary to afford a disabled person equal opportunity to use and enjoy a dwelling. (Emphasis added).

Health and Safety Code 17920.3

HEALTH AND SAFETY CODE ­ HSC

DIVISION 13. HOUSING [17000 ­ 19997] ( Division 13 enacted by Stats. 1939, Ch. 60. )PART 1.5. REGULATION OF BUILDINGS USED FOR HUMAN HABITATION [17910 ­ 17998.3] ( Part 1.5 added by Stats. 1961, Ch. 1844. )

CHAPTER 2. Rules and Regulations [17920 ­ 17928] ( Chapter 2 added by Stats. 1961, Ch. 1844. )

(Redacted by author)

17920.3.

Any building or portion thereof including any dwelling unit, guestroom or suite of rooms, or the premises on which the same is located, in which there exists any of the following listed conditions to an extent that endangers the life, limb, health, property, safety, or welfare of the public or the occupants thereof shall be deemed and hereby is declared to be a substandard building:

5/6

1/21/2019 AT&T Yahoo Mail – Communication from the Public – Regarding Los Angeles Housing Committee Item No. 14-0268-S13 – Community Impact Statem…

(a) Inadequate sanitation shall include, but not be limited to, the following: (14) General dilapidation or improper maintenance.

(c) Any nuisance.

(d) All wiring, except that which conformed with all applicable laws in effect at the time of installation if it is currently in good and safe condition and working properly.

HSC section 17920.3.

(k) Any building or portion thereof that is determined to be an unsafe building due to inadequate maintenance, in accordance with the latest edition of the Uniform Building Code.

CITY RAC GUIDELINES

“A tenant rents an apartment with the appurtenant housing services available at the time of renting the apartment. Landlords who reduce housing services without a corresponding reduction in rent effectuate an increase in rent. The purpose of these regulations is to guide the Los Angeles Housing Department in its evaluation of a corresponding reasonable reduction in rent.”

“Housing services are services that are connected with the use or occupancy of a rental unit including, but not limited to, utilities (including light, heat, water and telephone), ordinary repairs or replacement, and maintenance including painting. The term also includes the provision of elevator service, laundry facilities and privileges, common recreational facilities, janitor service, resident manager, refuse removal, furnishings, food service, parking and any other benefits, privileges or facilities. (LAMC Sec. 151.02, Definition of Housing Services).”

2019-1-15 Email PPM AAGLA Rent Increase Complaint.pdf

Link to City Clerk Site for Ordinance Anti-Harassment Docs

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