April 2020

I have been in the rental housing industry for more than 45 years, as have many of you, and I have lived through various cycles of the real estate market. The current state of affairs as it relates to the Coronavirus is unchartered territory for all of us. I wanted to assure you that your leadership at the Apartment Association is working diligently with other stakeholders to work out positive solutions for those of us providing rental housing.

As we looked at some of the earlier draft legislation it became apparent that we did not seem worthy of economic protection. In looking at some of the language it seemed to imply that rental housing providers could just carry on without receiving any rental income and that we were expected to deliver the same level of service despite not receiving rent.

Those of us in the apartment business are no different from any other business. We need our contract rent in order to carry out these services we provide. We understand that many of our tenants will be negatively impacted by the Corona virus, and we want to work with those who are truly negatively impacted. We have advocated that there be a system in place to identify those truly in need verses those who would just take advantage of an opportunity. If tenants are allowed to continue getting vital services without rent payments with no risk of services being terminated, there should be some provision for us. We are advocating for a level playing field.

We have been working with our Sacramento lobbyist Ron Kingston and our local attorneys who serve on our Board of Directors, i.e., Bruce Menke and Michael Brennon, who are working together on new forms and guidance to help us through these unchartered times. We are here for you as both volunteer Board Members, as well as our amazing staff who are continuing to provide stellar service to our members, and together we will get through these challenges. We are also expanding our email communication and our website to keep you informed because we cannot have “in-person” meetings. Feel free to email your concerns, and we will reply as soon as possible.

The health, safety and well-being of our members, staff and our communities is our top priority. Stay well.

Sources

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Coronavirus (COVID-19):
www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/

California COVID-19: www.covid19.ca.gov/

Los Angeles County COVID-19:
www.lacounty.gov/covid19/