Page 19 - aagla4-2021
P. 19

 Executive Director’s Message
Continued from page 17
such as Berkeley, California want to take-away from property owners without compensation. The City of Los Angeles had also been evaluating this same concept. Where there is smoke, there is often fire, and “T.O.P.A.” could soon be a major blaze up and down California – you just mark my words.
Another ill-conceived initiative being brought forth by the City of Los Angeles is a punishing anti-tenant harassment ordinance. The proposal would allow tenants to pursue a private right of action against their landlords for “harassment,” which under the City’s proposal could mean the failure to make timely and necessary repairs, creating dust or noise, or failing to follow industry standards, whatever they may be, in making repairs. The broad definition of “harassment” contemplated by the City would allow any unscrupulous tenant lawyer to “drive a truck through” the ordinance and open hunting season on landlords by threatening lawsuits for the smallest infractions and forcing landlords into out-of-court settlements or, as I like to call them, forcing “extortion payments.” But what is really sad about all this is that when I speak to rental housing providers, and I do speak to them quite often, I hear stories about how they themselves are being harassed by renters. This is particularly true for some the seniors who
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own rental property and who are today in grave fear of their renters who have aggressively threatened these owners who dare ask about rent that may be owed. It has gotten so bad out there, that many of our landlords today live-in fear of providing tenants with government mandated forms and notices or communicating in any way with their tenants for fear of possible harassment claims. Under the City’s proposed anti-tenant harassment, owners could have to pay up to $15,000 per claim. What about protections for us? We are being harassed too, and probably far more often.
All these regulations do is just run up the legal bills and other costs of housing providers while, ironically, our elected officials just sit around pondering why owners need to increase rent to cover costs or want out of the business entirely. Four decades of these re-treaded housing regulations, price controls, tenant protections and more has caused the housing shortages and the “World Record” of the nation’s homelessness dilemma. Sadly, our elected officials just do not get the obvious – it’s just like the definition of “insanity.” There is no way to get a different result by doing the same exact thing for the past 40 years. We need to try some new “stuff.” It is enough already. Deyenu!
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