As told to the Los Angeles City government August 2019.
Denial of housing services
* The intercom system unit 9 and outside the building is unusable. The intercom needs repair * Unit 9 tenants are still being denied a tandem parking stall
* The back interior stairs remain unstable and need repair as they are dangerous wobble when walking on them
For lease 1522 Hi Point Street 90035
Commentary by G. Juan Johnson – July 7, 2019- updated
Los Angeles- This article is based on the author’s experiences at 1522 Hi Point Street Los Angeles 90035. The building is owned by Hi Point Apts LLC Walter Barratt and managed by Power Property Management Group, Inc of Culver City. The 1522 Hi Point St is a rent controlled building.
There are plenty of articles on the Web about the pros and cons. Here I will take a limited view as it concerns tenants only and tenants at this address and area.
- Rent increases (not the basic rent) are set by the local rent control board. The tenant can expect that the rent will only increase a certain amount like 3% each year. In contrast, in a non-rent controlled building, rent can be raised any amount with only a 60 day notice.
- The rent control board sets the reasons why a tenant can be evicted. A tenant cannot face eviction for any reason other than the 12 set down by the city law. By contrast, in a non-rent controlled building, a landlord can evict a tenant with only a 60 day notice and no reason has to be given. (California Law).
- Rents in rent controlled units tend to be much lower than market rate.
- All tenants are entitled to certain protections under state and federal housing laws. City rent control laws in theory add another layer of tenant protection if the owner violates the rent control laws. Of course it is all in the enforcement, and many tenants and housing groups advocate that the lack of enforcement and penalties is helping fuel harassment against tenants and denial of housing services.
- Renters, no matter what amount of rent, should try to locate close to grocery stores (and laundries) to save a lot of headaches
- If you want to avoid the high cost of luxury rents, here is a good site that lists apartments by location, income level, and rent amounts, to give you options. Many of these low rent apartments have various restrictions that don’t occur in market rate units or luxury units. The site may be a little tricky, so click on everything to get the full benefit of info. Yes, Long Beach is considered to be part of Los Angeles County. LA COUNTY HOUSING RESOURCE CENTER
- Some feel that the rent control laws have made less apartments available, not more.
- Some feel that rent control buildings tend to be older buildings many times in less desirable neighborhoods. (Editor: The rent control law in Los Angeles governs buildings built before 1978, but those buildings are not necessarily in bad neighborhoods)
According to the Mayor Eric Garcetti’s “Executive Directive 13 Report” of 2017, the city received over 26,680 housing complaints (no distinction is made whether these are rent control buildings or not)
- The 2017 Mayor report above states the city resolved 13,957 illegal eviction complaints (presumably rent and non-rent controlled units)
- The 2017 Mayor report above states that 41,784 rental units were “restored to safe living conditions”
- Of the complaints in the Mayor’s report, why were there so many complaints? Many feel the complaints occur because of lack of enforcement of the rent control and housing laws.
Is this a true picture of Los Angeles of the housing conditions?
- The Mayor report states that Los Angeles is the most expensive of 100 largest cities
- The Mayor report recommends 100,000 units with only 15,000 will be “affordable” units. (Editor: seems to me those stats are skewed in favor of the very rich, hence the master plan to eliminate the low income renters.)
- Many tenants in rent control buildings experience harassment and denial of housing services like maintenance and parking
- In the face of numerous complaints, landlords ignore tenant concerns, and the city government departments either don’t enforce the laws or enforce them in an arbitrary, discriminatory manner
- At 1522 Hi Point St, the back stairs are wobbly and dilapidated and remain in need of repair for months, ignored by the owner and code enforcement. This is a case where city employees need to live in these buildings and experience the conditions
- Often tenants do not realize and fail to complain that they are entitled to rent reductions if a property is in need of repairs (RAC rent control regulations). Tenants may fail to realize that their rent pays for maintenance to the common areas as well their own unit. If housing services are denied, tenants under federal, state, and local law may be entitled to rent reimbursements, reductions, or other damages.
- Landlords depend on tenants who are ignorant of their rights
- Regarding 1522 Hi Point St, over 100 code violation complaints have been received by the City over the last four years
- At 1522 Hi Point St, the intercom system remains in need of repair but neither the owner , the property manager Power Property Management Inc, or the city rent control, will respond to requests for maintenance. Complaints have been pending for over four years. You can ask Mayor Garcetti which tenants he feels are not entitled to housing services
- At 1522 Hi Point St 90035, the owner, property management, and city employees ignore questions about housing services
- At 1522 Hi Point St 90035, dogs often run loose without a leash in the hallways
- At 1522 Hi Point St 90035, one tenant has a pit bull
- At 1522 Hi Point St 90035, there are numerous unresolved health and safety security issues
- The owner and city officials act contrary to the provisions of the state Unruh act which state all tenants are entitled to “the full and equal accommodations, advantages, facilities, privileges, or services in all business establishments of every kind whatsoever”
- At 1522 Hi Point St 90035, all tenants are named in numerous complaints filed with code enforcement, rent control, and the state Department of Fair Employment and Housing discrimination complaints (many of those complaints can be seen on this website)
- The owner/agents of Hi Point Apts LLC have been dragged into court three times but housing services are still denied to select tenants
- At 1522, tenants were exposed to asbestos dust because the owner did not comply with safe work practices; the demolition of popcorn ceilings exposed all 18 units to unsafe work conditions with no hazardous work contractor on the site*
- At 1522 Hi Point St 90035, owners may be charging tenants an illegal “flat utility fee”. If you have a question about the fee, consult the public utility company and ask is the fee required or call rent control
- At 1522 Hi Point St 90035 tenants pay rent which covers maintenance, but many times repairs are not made and the owner refuses to honor a rent reduction
- At 1522 Hi Point St 90035, the owner may be engaging in illegal air bnb
- At 1522 Hi Point St 90035, apartments may have been falsely advertised as condos
- At 1522 Hi Point St 90035, tenants may be paying illegal rents
- At 1522 Hi Point St 90035, many times the city rent control and code enforcement departments enable the property owners, and ignore tenants rent control and code violation complaints
- At 1522 Hi Point St 90035 many times the state Department of Fair Employment and Housing enables the property owner, and ignores tenant discrimination complaints
- The owner of 1522 may have received offers to demolish the building
- According to the rental company ads, one unit has not been registered under rent control, and is being used for short term rentals. A complaint for illegal housing has been filed with LA Housing and published to the internet by the City Clerk’s office.
- As with numerous properties across the city, it pays to ascertain —before you move in– the condition of the property, otherwise in this case for example you will be paying for lack of maintenance (rear stair railing and intercom system) and denial of housing services (parking concerns ignored by the owner) and housing discrimination complaints. Move here and you will pay $1950 per month plus $1950 security for such denial of housing services.
If these are housing conditions you would like to live under, visit 1522 Hi Point St apartments.
(*Re lead and asbestos contamination. It is common that in many buildings erected before 1978, lead and asbestos was used in the walls or on the walls. Thus when you see an older building being renovated, it is likely that lead paint was used at some time, and likely that asbestos was used in the insulation or in the popcorn ceilings. Lead and asbestos is most dangerous when it is disturbed as in demolishing a wall or ceiling. During such “primary renovations” , the owner is required to hire a licensed hazardous waste contractor and use safe work practices. This can be especially important in box apartment buildings (like 1522 Hi Point St 90035). At this building, the owner failed to hire a licensed hazardous waste abatement contractor, and renovated fifteen units without safe work practices, exposing other tenants to asbestos and lead contamination. So if you see an older building with units for rent, you might want to inquire has the building been recently renovated or will it face renovations in the future and what were the safe work practices if any. Many times exposure to asbestos contamination does not show up as a medical issue until years later. This building will face removal of hazardous wastes when three other units are renovated. I suspect asbestos dust still lingers in this building exposing tenants to unhealthy conditions but tenants are either unaware or don’t care. Of course Walter Barratt, Jade Beck, Kasandra Harris, Eric Garcetti, Herb Wesson, LA County District Attorney don’t give a damn. For this address, city employees participated in enabling the owner to expose tenants to unsafe and unhealthy conditions. If these are housing conditions you would like to live under, come on down.)
Debris and dilapidated vehicle.
That is how we roll at 1522 Hi Point St 90035 courtesy of Power Property Management, Jade Beck, and Kassandra Harris. Come on down and pay your $1950.00 per month for the lack of property maintenance.