31 January 2006
Councilmembers John Noguez, Mario Gomez and Elba Romo spoke against the ordinance, telling staff that they were opposed to any law that would penalize good owners.
The proposed law was based on the Systematic Code Enforcement Program (SCEP) in place throughout the city of Los Angeles. In that community, all properties are inspected every three years, regardless of complaints or problems. For the "privilege" of this interior inspection, owners pay a $36.00 per unit fee each year and a $250 reinspection fee each time the city has to come back to check corrections. And, of course, every inspector that comes for reinspection usually discovers "new" problems - thereby insuring another recheck and another reinspection fee!
The Los Angeles ordinance states that tenants will be cited if an inspector finds a tenant-caused problem. The Huntington Park ordinance would have cited only owners.
We certainly do not condone slumlords and am I sure all of you - our good landlords - do not support slumlords either. But we do recognize and fight for property rights and the protection of our tenants' privacy.
In 2004, a group of property owners (including AACSC staff and board members), tenants and Huntington Park city staff met monthly at the direction of the Council to solve the issues of problem properties. We met for 18 months and came up with a very workable, complaint-driven program. However, city staff discarded that plan and appointed a rent-control dominated committee to look at an inspection ordinance again. This group provided the input for the ordinance heard on February 6th.
AACSC notified 1,300 landlords in Huntington Park to rally around the issue, and many testified at the Council meeting.
This was a wonderful example of how owners can help owners through an association. No one owner could have succeeded alone, but together we made a huge difference!
Share this story with your rental property owner friends and encourage them to join us at AACSC. The property they may protect could be their own.