05 May 2011
By now I am sure that many of you have heard about the wave of proposed anti-landlord bills that is flooding the legislative pipeline in Sacramento---all of them geared to either cost you more money or restrict your ability to costeffectively manage your property.
On page 37 of this month's Apartment Journal, you can read an article written by Ron Kingston---our professional legislative consultant in Sacramento. In his article, Ron identifies the most onerous of these bills and identifies the negative impact they will have on your business.
But take heart! Ron, Nancy Ahlswede and your all-volunteer Board of Directors are working hard to block, or modify, the worst of these proposed new laws. They are working not only in Sacramento, but locally on a face-to-face, grass roots level.
Let me give you a personal example. About two weeks ago, Nancy, Ron and I spent most of a Friday driving from El Segundo to Chino Hills to Long Beach to Los Angeles to Artesia making personal calls on the legislators from those areas.
We were making sure they understood the impacts of the proposed bills on the rental housing industry. We also shared the Association's positions and recommendations. At the end of a very long day, we met at the home of Assembly Member Tony Mendoza in Artesia. The Mendozas were hosting a big birthday party for their 16 year old daughter that night, so we had to sit on plastic lawn chairs in the garage and discuss a bill he was proposing (AB 22).
Mendoza's bill would prohibit employers, including landlords, from obtaining credit checks on employees or job applicants unless that information is substantially job related and the job is a management position.
Most of your office staff members that take credit applications, collect rents or have access to tenant or prospective tenant private confidential information are not managers. You would consequently be barred from getting the necessary credit information you need to screen these key office personnel. (Now, that's scary).
We explained that employees in the rental housing industry handle personal information and rent money---personal privacy and security are top priorities for all of us. This would be compromised if AB22 became law in its current form.
By the end of the meeting, Assembly Member Mendoza agreed to amend the bill to address our concerns. On the following Tuesday, Ron Kingston had drafted the agreed to amendment and had it on Mendoza's desk.
An effective face-to-face meeting with positive results. What else could you ask for?
This was a classic case of your Association leadership working hard (at times on Friday night in the garage if necessary) to help protect your business interests. Your Association dues are money well spent!
On a lighter note, don't forget about our golf tournament later this month, on May 23. This year it will be held at the beautiful Sea Cliff Country Club and proceeds will benefit the Long Beach Ronald McDonald House. Call the Association for details on how you can participate in this wonderful event.