New bill would let renters with a disability move to the first floor

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A new bill introduced by Rick Chavez Zbur, West Hollywood’s representative in the California Assembly, would allow renters with a movement disability to switch to an apartment on the first floor of their building.

Assembly Bill 1620 would amend the Costa-Hawkins Rental Housing Act in enabling local jurisdictions to require owners of residential real property to allow such exchanges. If granted, the owner must allow the tenant to retain their lease at the same rental rate and terms of the existing lease if certain conditions are met. The move must be determined to be necessary to accommodate the tenant’s disability related to mobility, and the new unit must be located in the same building or on the same parcel with at least three other units.

The bill was amended in Assembly on March 16, and is now in the 2023-2024 regular session of the California Legislature.

According to West Hollywood’s Governmental Affairs Liaison Hernan Molina, the policy was derived from WeHo’s Aging In Place initiative, which aims to support the quality of life, health, and well-being of older adults.

“This is particularly important for those tenants who have aged in their upper story units where no elevators are available, most of whom may have moved in when they were young and physically able, and now struggle to go and up downstairs,” Molina wrote in an email to WEHOville. “The legislation would protect the tenant’s rent stabilized status, including the rental rate.”

Small buildings with four units or fewer would be exempt under the latest amendments to the bill, which is expected to be heard in the Assembly Housing Committee on April 19.

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The Costa-Hawkins Rental Housing Act allows owners of residential real property to set initial and subsequent rental rates for a dwelling or unit, with exemptions for certain tenancies and dwelling units, including where the previous tenancy has been terminated by the owner pursuant to specified law. The bill would make nonsubstantive changes to existing law, including the provision that defines multiple listing services.

If passed, the bill may face opposition from property owners and industry groups concerned about the impact on property rights and market values. The bill could also face challenges regarding its implementation and enforcement, particularly in cases where there is no available unit that meets the criteria specified in the bill.

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Steve Too
Steve Too
10 months ago

Nowhere does this post mention if they can move to a vacant unit or would they force an existing occupant to switch apartments? What about grandfathered buildings that have exterior steps? Is the landlord required to add a ramp?

michaelz
michaelz
10 months ago

larry block is the best….he’s.
always thinking of WEHO…..

08mellie
08mellie
10 months ago

Is not the ability to pay rent the first criteria in renting? NOW we are, as a BS “City” forcing property owners to be accommodating those that just cannot afford to live here? There are other towns. WH needs to stop sucking off the CA government teet to be media important and receive these subsidies. This type of governance is just to get WH on the media map and the woke socials. JFC, when are we going to have a holistic approach to protecting investment and social needs? SO owners should just give it away? NOPE. The state government of… Read more »

WehoQueen
WehoQueen
10 months ago
Reply to  08mellie

Landlords aren’t running charities. If someone has a disability, there are consequences for that. There is an incentive to stay healthy. If someone is the victim of an accident through no fault of their own, let the State help them out. Landlords aren’t running charities. I suspect a lot of these fake “disabilities” were self-caused, like being junkies, drug addicts, not eating healthy, being drunks etc. There need to be consequences for bad life choices. Right Jimmy P.?

Joshua88
Joshua88
10 months ago
Reply to  WehoQueen

May you never grow old and slightly enfeebled, WQ.

David
David
10 months ago
Reply to  08mellie

You crass aSShoe. I hope someday getting a real disability doesn’t happen to you or somehow you have to learn what it means to not be able to walk a flight of stairs. It has nothing to do with affordability, it has to do with accommodating the same renters at the same rate for the same type of apartment.

Joshua88
Joshua88
10 months ago
Reply to  08mellie

What does affordability have to do with this?

Read it again, please.

Stay healthy and unhappy, young wo/man.

Manny
Manny
10 months ago

As I recall this was Larry Block’s idea many years ago. Glad it’s finally getting the attention it deserves, and so should Larry.

Alan Strasburg
Alan Strasburg
10 months ago
Reply to  Manny

Thank you, Manny, for ensuring that the record is clear. History is often rewritten when we don’t pay attention.

Mikie Friedman
Mikie Friedman
10 months ago
Reply to  Manny

Hear! Hear!

Steve Martin
Steve Martin
10 months ago
Reply to  Mikie Friedman

It has been a long road but Larry was very persistent.

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