Apartment Management Magazine “This is the End…My Only Friend, the End”
These are the famous lyrics of rock legend Jim Morrison from The Doors’ epic song, “The End.” Those of us who work in the rental housing industry will have had our “end” of sorts with the scheduled end of the City of Los Angeles’ eviction moratorium on January 31, 2023 and the end of the moratorium on increases in rent twelve months later. January 31, 2024 – yes, that’s not a typo, it’s the year 2024. At the city council meeting held on the eve of the Jewish Day of Atonement, Yom Kippur, some of our prayers were answered and we dodged a bullet from the pen of council member Nithya Raman who wanted to spend another month to almost three years already painful under moratoriums – just stick the knife a little deeper and tweak it a bit more, I can only imagine that was his line of thinking at the time his failed amendment was proposed.
Unfortunately, for some or perhaps many, those nearly three years have already been the end for those who have experienced foreclosures, bankruptcies, forced sales, squatter tenants, difficult tenants emboldened by the government’s response to the pandemic and today’s pandemic rent mountains. debt due and unpaid by state rental assistance programs. After so much torment, some can’t help but wonder why they even stay in the rental housing business, especially those of us who have invested retirements and worked hard to own and operate rental homes here in California. .
In ending the world’s longest moratoriums, the City of Los Angeles has not quietly gone away by any stretch of the imagination and is now offering mountains of tenant protections in the form of “just cause” eviction requirements to rental units that are not subject to the current Rent Stabilization Ordinance, new notification requirements will be imposed by the Los Angeles Department of Housing when filing evictions, limitations placed on tenant screening practices and likely a whole series of other regulations to be determined. As the infomercial host would say, “wait…there’s more.”
But for now, let’s take a moment to breathe deeply. The outcome of the City Council’s actions could have been much worse and at least we have an ‘end’ and we can now move on with our lives with some level of certainty. For those who own and manage rental housing in other areas of Los Angeles County, you too can celebrate and take a deep breath as the county moratoriums expire on December 31, 2022 – over and completely over.
Whether you’ve been hit by moratoriums, had to liquidate savings or run into debt, your tenants have been dishonest in their ability to pay rent, or you simply owe thousands of dollars, your stories need to be told. Feel free to share your stories with me. Please also consider registering and telling your stories to members of the media. Many journalists I have spoken to want to hear our side of the story. It must be said so that what we have experienced in the past three years will never happen to us again. Let’s spread the word, together.
In rental housing, we are resilient and we are smart business people. We know what we need to do now, and we’ll all be back on track soon. Inflation and eventually recession will pass, and we continue as we have after facing many other challenges that have come before. So let me encourage you and everyone else not to abandon ship. However, join the ship, get involved and support our advocacy efforts. Tenant advocacy groups who show up at City Council meetings are loud and obnoxious as they appear at the Los Angeles City Council meeting on October 4e, but we must, and we can outnumber them. So get involved and defend your rights. The Greater Los Angeles Apartment Association will support you – that is our goal – we will always be the voice of the rental housing industry.
By the way, have you seen any of the webinars?
I want to thank those of you who have reached out to me by email, phone, or in person and tell you how much I appreciate your comments and suggestions about our webinars. I’m so glad to hear that many of you find them useful, especially since I’ve put a lot of effort into preparing them and coming up with topics and guests.
We started venturing into webinars right after the pandemic hit. I remember the very first one we did, and I have to admit I was a bit nervous and stuck to precisely a script I had prepared for myself. Over time, we’ve changed the format a bit, introduced the opening music permitted by our ASCAP (American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers) license, we’ve gotten sponsors to play a part so we can bring for free important content to our members, and at one point I put on a Mets cap (I don’t really like the Mets or baseball…honestly) just for fun. This baseball cap isn’t “my thing”, and even my wife says she can’t recognize me without a baseball cap.
Thanks for joining us. If you haven’t experienced one of our webinars yet, give us a try. They tend to grow on people as much as I love hosting them and creating them for you. To date, we have produced nearly 200 webinars covering dozens of topics of great interest to members and rental property owners in Southern California.
As we approach the end of this year 2022, we can only breathe deeply for a few moments. We have so much to prepare for the coming year. The year 2023 will surely be another battlefield and many challenges will be faced and once again overcome. As we approach 2023, I am pleased to report that we have bolstered our advocacy resources with the hiring of two additional professionals to bolster our local government affairs team. These hires will surely have a major impact on our effectiveness and success as we face our adversaries and work with our supporters in local government.
The obvious question is, “Can we do more?” Yes of course we can. We can act unlimited, but we need your support. We need your presence at public meetings where your voice should be heard. We need your letter and email writing skills to get the personal struggles you have encountered in front of and in the minds of our elected officials and the media. And, we need your financial support, in our Political Action Committees and Legal Fund, or we won’t be able to match the well-funded opposition we face on a daily basis. It’s “us against the world”, and if you want to succeed like me, get involved, stay informed and be generous.
Allow me to take this moment to wish each of you and your families a very happy holiday season. Let us know what we can do to better serve you and meet your needs. The Greater Los Angeles Apartment Association exists to serve you and help you succeed.