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 The Association submitted several letters to the Council expressing continued opposition to the broad-based prohibitions and related requirements on housing providers in evicting renters engaging in disruptive and potentially dangerous activity. Moreover, we have reiterated our belief that the City does not have the legal authority to extend any portion of their eviction moratorium as they are preempted by the State through the enactment of Assembly Bill 3088 and by extension through Senate Bill 91. We have also called on the City Council to seek a path forward and long-term solutions that serve the needs of both rental housing providers and renters and not to simply continually extend interim measures.
WEST HOLLYWOOD TABLES ADOPTION OF SMOKE-FREE HOUSING POLICY
On March 15, 2021, the West Hollywood City Council delayed adoption of a smoke free housing policy. The City Council was scheduled to adopt an ordinance which would have established prohibitions on smoking Tobacco, smoking Cannabis and Vaping as follows:
• Smoking tobacco would be prohibited in all common areas on or after 30 days of the effective date of the ordinance.
• Smoking tobacco would be prohibited in new units and in private balconies and private patios in such new units on or after July 15, 2021.
• Smoking cannabis and vaping would be prohibited in all common areas on or after July 15, 2021.
• Smoking tobacco would be prohibited in existing units after March 1, 2022.
During the meeting, Council Member Meister expressed concerns regarding the manner in which the Council at the March 1st meeting advanced an amendment to the ordinance instituting a ban on smoking tobacco in existing units and the lack of transparency of such action. She also raised concerns relative to the ordinance language, specifying that while the language states that renters could not be evicted for violations based on nuisance grounds, that pursuant to the City’s Rent Stabilization Ordinance, rental housing providers would have grounds to evict renters who violate the ordinance based on “a change in tenancy required to comply with federal, state or local law”. Further, Council Member Meister contended that rental housing providers would use this loophole to evict renters in
units subject to the City’s rent stabilization ordinance in order to raise rents.
As the Association has repeatedly stated, rental housing providers are in the business of providing people with housing and filling vacancies as efficiently as feasible, and not engaging in the eviction process. Evictions run counter to good rental business practice.
During the March 15th meeting, Council Member Shyne also raised concerns with the one-year deadline in which individuals in existing units would need to stop smoking tobacco as well as the need to consider the addition of a disability exemption. Following a brief discussion and consultation with the City Attorney, the Council directed that two draft ordinances be brought back, one related to smoking in common areas and new units and one on the banning of tobacco smoking in existing units which is likely to necessitate further discussion.
Over the past year, the Association submitted several letters which expressed our shared health concerns associated with smoking and second-hand smoke, and the multitude of health benefits that may result following the implementation of a smoke-free housing policy. We supported the City’s development and implementation of a smoke-free multifamily dwelling program. We also raised concerns with the current and prior proposed ordinances when the proposals would have resulted in placing additional administrative burdens or presented issues for housing providers. It is anticipated that the draft ordinances will be discussed at the next scheduled meeting in April. We will continue to monitor this matter, advocate for our members interests and provide updates.
WEST HOLLYWOOD CITY COUNCIL DISCUSSES PET RENT AND PET DEPOSITS
At the March 15th City Council meeting, the Council directed City staff and the City Attorney to review State and Local laws to determine if the City can prohibit rental housing providers from requiring pet rents and/or additional security deposits for pets. In addition, the City Council requested that staff develop sample language to be included in lease agreements relative to pet rent and pet security deposit requirements pursuant to the City’s Rent Stabilization Ordinance.
We will continue to monitor this matter, advocate for our member interests, and provide updates.
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