Letter: city says tenants not entitled to repairs  — do you feel safe?

 July 14, 2018

          I agree with your editorial May 31 [Random Lengths News) issue “Homeless Once Again” which powerfully stated “this is not by accident, but it is a result of structural racism that persists still.” So when will politicians like Mayor Eric Garcetti and his citizens council admit the racism that exists?

         Our “ability to imagine ourselves in the shoes of others”. President Barack Obama in your June 28 issue. Indeed, can we imagine a California where immigrants will suffer housing discrimination gentrification—-“voter approved” measure JJJ —- and suffer impediments to employment because new apartment developments restrict parking to one half stall per tenant.

Mayor’s report says 31,854 rental units were unsafe in Los Angeles

          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 rental units to safe living conditions”. Wow, that is a lot of housing problems! 

          The Mayor’s webpage “executive directive 13” states “Since July 1, 2013 to June 30, 2017 the City has issued permits for 58,527 new dwelling units.” The Mayor touts “affordable housing” out of one side of his mouth, and says out of the other side “denial of fair housing.” The Mayor is a lot of talk but little action. I live in an 18 unit building where select tenants have been skipped over for housing maintenance and tandem parking  — for years — at a damage value of over $350 per month,  yet repeatedly Garcetti’s $100,000 per year code enforcement inspectors/rent control officials refuse to address these racial inequities. Sounds like a criminal matter to me.

         Los Angeles rent stabilization’s webpage “primary renovation facts” states “The work may begin no sooner than sixty (60) days after the landlord has served the tenant with: (1) a copy of the Plan; (2) a Notice of Primary Renovation Work; (3) a summary of the provisions of the Tenant Habitability Program (“THP”); and (4) a permanent relocation form if the work will last thirty (30) days or more”;  but the city’s mayor and employee Robert Galardi acknowledged in writing in 2017 that many tenants never received the THP notice, and thus numerous repairs proceeded without the THP ever filed with the city, a clear non-compliance with the ordinance. Worse, with no THP filed, landlords were prohibited from raising rents on new tenants, but some landlords raised the rents anyway. Many tenants may have been entitled to double damages. The rent stabilization department (“RSD”) can supposedly go back three years to seek damages. If a tenant paid an “illegal rent” overcharge of $600 per month, the tenant would be owed $600/36 months/double or $43,000. LA city officials should be seeking rent refunds for all affected tenants, in accordance with the city’s webpage “allowable rent increases” and Los Angeles Municipal Code section 152.07 “Remedies”.

Los Angeles government “structural racism”

          The rear interior staircase and railing wobbles and especially when you walk down it (see the video on Youtube) but the city code enforcement inspector Kenneth Lam says that “unsafe stair railing” is not a violation of health and safety. In how many buildings in the city have you walked on stairs that move and wobble?

          As the Random Lengths May 31 apropos editorial cartoon appraised this catastrophe, “Abandon all your rights ye who enter here”. Applicants to rent control apartments may want to read the rent control ordinance before signing any rent agreements that under rent control may deny rights a tenant would normally have in the absence of rent control.

In how many buildings in the city have you walked on stairs that move and wobble?

Signed: Tenant #9

[Editor: any newspaper should feel free to publish this letter. It did NOT appear in Random Lengths News.]

Also see link this site Communications with city employees

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