Apartment Owners Sue Beverly Hills Over Rent Ordinance Demands

LOS ANGELES (CNS) - The Apartment Association of Greater Los Angeles is suing the city of Beverly Hills on behalf of apartment tenants and owners, alleging the city's rent stabilization ordinance measure requires a rental registry and disclosure of sensitive and confidential data about tenants and their apartments.

Also named as a plaintiff in the U.S. District Court lawsuit is Orit Blau, a longtime Beverly Hills resident and apartment owner.

The city adopted revised rent stabilization regulations in January and February that required apartment owners to provide the government with sensitive information, including monthly rental amounts paid by tenants, unit numbers, utility payments and onsite parking availability among other things, according to the suit.

The association alleges that the information is being obtained by the city without the consent of tenants or apartment owners or through court order, thereby violating Fourth Amendment rights prohibiting unlawful searches and seizures.

AAGLA has pending a similar lawsuit against the city of Los Angeles.

“The city of Beverly Hills' tenant rental registry is clearly unconstitutional in that it represents a de facto registry of residents and rents without any sort of due process,” AAGLA board President Earle Vaughn said.

“The city of Beverly Hills is conducting an ongoing fishing expedition without reasonable suspicion and has discarded any and all probable cause standards in its efforts to gather what amounts to confidential data about renters.”

Said Beverly Hills City Attorney Laurence S. Wiener: “The City Council values the rights and privacy of our residents and only seeks this information to ensure all housing providers are abiding by the city's Rent Stabilization Ordinance.

“The deadline for compliance with our registration requirements was this past January and all of the housing providers, with the exception of one, have submitted the requested information.

“In addition to a public discussion on the issue last night, the city will continue to host meetings between housing providers and tenants led by a professional mediator as we work toward some agreement regarding the ultimate terms of the rent stabilization ordinance.”

AAGLA's executive director, Daniel Yukelson, said the city would be better served by obtaining this confidential information directly from the tenants themselves, should they wish to offer it, rather than imposing a rental registry on income property owners.

AAGLA dubs itself Southern California's leading advocate for affordable, quality housing on behalf of rental housing providers.

Photo: Getty Images

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