We Should Work Together

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Dr. King’s inspirational quote helped me reflect on interactions amongst our industry and why we should work together and not apart.

This year we will face legislation that should involve all of us. Yet, for one reason or another, it will not. Some will avoid challenges, others embrace apathy, and others entrust a few to solve issues that affect financial survival.

We expect legislation to be introduced to compel landlords to accept Section 8 voucher applicants and impose additional restrictions on every landlord who wants to terminate a Section 8 tenant. In some instances, landlords don’t believe this will happen and to that end want to leave it to a few members or our Association to resolve the matter.

This is a very real threat. I talked with one landlord today about this and she has firsthand knowledge. It takes up to 90 days to receive the first payment once a tenant takes occupancy. Inspectors can take up to 15 days to inspect the unit before a Section 8 tenant can occupy the unit during which time the landlord will not be paid for lost rent. If there is any dispute concerning the rental during tenancy, the landlord will not be paid until resolution, and to top things off, criminal background checks are not performed as required by law. So, to landlords who think this will not happen or believe that the leadership will solve the issue, may I suggest that without your direct help to oppose these proposals that you and the rest of our landlord and management community may find a new real world... one that will compel you to accept Section 8 tenants.

Do you limit the number of tenants that that may change as well. The Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH) is proposing to drastically change State regulations. Today, landlords may enforce what is referred to as a “two-person per bedroom, plus one person per unit” standard. Generally speaking this standard permits landlords to rent to three persons in a one-bedroom dwelling and five persons in a two-bedroom unit. DFEH has published proposed regulations that would base the occupancy limits on square foot age, not the number of bedrooms. The new standard would require landlords and managers to rent to 11 persons in a two-bedroom unit, not five persons. Do we need to discuss the ramifications of this new standard on rental property owners, parking, utilities (including water and sewer), police and fire demand, amenities, etc.?

Another bill that is expected to be introduced this year would “permit” local governments to set price controls on newly constructed rental and ownership housing. We faced a similar bill like this just two years ago. The author claimed that her proposal should not be construed to be rent control. Well, when government sets mandatory price controls on privately owned rental housing, most everyone else considers it to be called “rent control.” For newly built ownership housing that has price limits set by government, some like to call it “inclusionary housing” which is a euphemism for price control.

Do I have your attention yet? I sure hope so.

Silence is not golden. It is time to speak up for financial survival and the industry.

Ron Kingston can be reached at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

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