The Apartment Association of Greater Los Angeles (AAGLA) has filed a lawsuit against the City of Los Angeles on behalf of its members and the City’s housing providers. The lawsuit, filed in Federal Court today is a constitutional challenge that essentially argues that the City’s prohibition imposed on residential and commercial landlords from undertaking eviction procedures for tenants financially or otherwise impacted by the pandemic singles out landlords and property owners throughout the City to absorb the residents’ claimed economic losses attendant to the crisis. The lawsuit further asserts that the City’s eviction ban illegally modifies existing contractual relationships by nullifying any late fees or interest while the emergency declaration is in place and throughout the one year period following the end of the emergency, and also imposes a moratorium on annual rent increases for any rent increase scheduled.
Finally, the lawsuit asserts that the City’s imposition of the eviction ban provides benefits to renters well beyond what the State has provided through the Governor’s orders, and that the City has exposed itself to significant liability risk for all damages associated with the eviction ban, including the damages stemming from the lack of “end date” on the eviction ban and the one year grace period following the, as yet, unknown date.
Airbnb hosting services in apartment buildings have been banned in NY, CA and many other states. Now NY is not only slapping fines on hosting providers but also additional civil court penalties which attach to the property title if a landlord is caught engaging in Airbnb hosting. Attaching to the title means the marketability of the property is adversely affect during a sales transaction. As for tenants who engage in Airbnb hosting services, they face automatic eviction and stiff penalties.
New York City hit the three buildings with more than $46,000 in civil penalties prior to filing the lawsuit, according to court documents. The suit asks the court to ban space in the buildings from being used as short-term rentals going forward and have the defendants pay the city a fine of $1,000 per day for each day they violated its rules on short-term rentals. It seeks $500,000 in punitive damages for the city as well. The city has sued multiple landlords over alleged illegal Airbnb violations in recent years, including Metropolitan Property Group, the Torkian Group and Philip Baldeo.
“The message is clear: illegal hotel operators who flout the law will see consequences–and their day in court,” City Hall spokeswoman Avery Cohen said in a statement.
Airbnb and other home share platforms have been exacerbating the already tight supply of affordable housing in many major cities (see other articles in the 323.APARTMENTS blog) by raising prices of short term rentals. However, home share platforms also increase liability exposure of apartment landlords by introducing renters who have no written contracts with the landlord. In the event of catastrophic events, landlords are held liable even though they have no rental contracts with such renters and have never prior knowledge of their existence in the apartment complexes.
Airbnb and other home-share platforms are now banned in New York and Los Angeles apartments. In New York, under the new legislation, the fine for a first offense increases tenfold, from the current $1,000 to a whopping $10,000, with the maximum penalty jumping from $25,000 to $50,000. A companion bill mandates an annual report from City Hall of complaints, inspections, and fines connected to illegal short-term rentals.
Los Angeles passed a similar law. In Los Angeles, a tenant must have prior written permission from landlord otherwise face prosecution and eviction resulting from breach of contract (lease agreement). The stiffest opposition to Airbnb has ironically come from places like San Francisco (its birthplace and headquarters) and New York. There, affordable housing advocates have joined forces with the hotel industry and labor unions to demand greater regulation.
The City of Glendale has imposed a rent freeze which will force 323.APARTMENTS to raise rents, since our average historical self-imposed rent increases were actually lower than rent control. This ordinance will adversely impact all 323.APARTMENTS residents who reside in Glendale. Here are the details...
Glendale Tenants Union, a radical tenants rights advocacy group, has failed to collect barely less than half of the required signatures to get rent control on the November 2018 ballot. Glendale joins a list of other cities like Pasadena, Long Beach, Inglewood, and Santa Ana which have also failed to garner the required number of signatures to qualify for the November 2018 ballot. Here is a partial list of their onerous demands...
A state assembly committee voted Thursday [January 11, 2018] to reject a bill with broad implications for the ability of California cities to impose rent control restrictions on local landlords. The bill would have repealed the 1995 Costa-Hawkins Rental Housing Act, which exempts newly constructed housing from rent control laws and prevents cities from limiting a landlord’s ability to raise rents on a unit after a tenant moves out.
323.APARTMENTS (formerly Admiral Realty) has average cumulative rent increases of only 2%. Rent control imposed on 323.APARTMENTS properties would actually raise rent, not stabilize them as the law intends. Rent control laws artificially control prices by ignoring tenant loyalty and market conditions. A landlord is not allowed to offer rent discounts to long-term loyal residents because it will lose the right to raise the rent at a future date, since rent ceiling are in effect. Politically, the topic rent control is favored by tenants because they are led to believe that the law will keep their rents under control. However, tenants are not warned about the hazards of controlled pricing and its harmful effects on housing quality, neighborhood crime, and the ill effects from landlords who are forced to raise rents according to rent control timelines or be disallowed from raising rents later. Basically, rent control laws dictate when a landlord can raise rent, even if the economy is dismal. This means a landlord is forced to raise rent in poor economic conditions or otherwise lose the right in the future, when the market conditions improve. This type of pricing control discourages real estate investment and deteriorates cities.
What is Costa Hawkins?...