08 March 2012
At press time, the City of Huntington Park is debating the implementation of a no smoking policy within apartment units. If it passes, Huntington Park will join a growing number of cities to establish no smoking laws in Southern California including Compton, Baldwin Park, Glendale, Pasadena and Calabasas. These cities do not require the landlords to be the Smoking Police; rather, the tenants in all cases hold each other accountable with citations/tickets written by the police or code enforcement directly to the transgressor. It is estimated that owners spend more than $4800 in cleaning costs when turning over an apartment from smoking tenants to a new tenancy.
Local election battles are heating up. In Long Beach, two current district councilmembers are running unopposed— Second District's Suja Lowenthal and Sixth District's Dee Andrews. The major contenders for the Fourth District are John Watkins, a 29-year retired Long Beach Police Officer who is also a businessman, developer and apartment owner, and current Councilmember Patrick O'Donnell who is running as a write-in, since his terms have expired. The Water District's Lillian Kawasaki is running against union business advocate and agent Al Austin.
The big question is: who will seek the mayor's seat in next year's election? Currently declared are Gerrie Shipske and Val Lerch. Whispers are tossing around the names of others depending on the outcome of the new Long Beach Congressional District race.
If you have properties that are subject to the City of Los Angeles Rent Stabilization Ordinance, be mindful of the fact that you will be penalized with fines up to 250 percent of fee costs if your annual fees are late. These fees are collected by the Los Angeles Housing Department (LAHD) and cover both the 2012 SCEP fee and the RSO annual registration fees.
The RSO fee is $24.51 per rental unit (covers registration) and the SCEP fee (covers regular inspections under the Systematic Code Enforcement Program).
Payment of the Annual Bill must be received by LAHD on or before Wednesday, February 29, 2012. If submitting a payment by mail, please allow seven to 10 days for delivery. Payments not received on time will be subject to a one-time penalty assessment on March 1, 2012.
For the 2012 Annual Bill, the Department has made several enhancements to its One-Stop Online Processing system (www.lahdbill.org) to enhance the level of customer service provided, and facilitate the payment of fees as well as the registration of rental properties. These enhancements include:
- The ability to make payments using major credit cards (Visa, Mastercard, Discover, and American Express), as well as by electronic check;
- The ability to make payments for multiple APNs at one time. Property owners and management companies, who own multiple rental properties, are highly encouraged to take advantage of this feature and make their payments online. Please be aware that payment in-person are limited to six properties per visit;
- The ability to make partial payments;
- The ability to view a step-by-step guide on how to use the online billing portal. A link to the video is available on http://LAHDbill.org.
Pay on time and avoid the penalty!