SACRAMENTO TO SANTA MONICA
Governor Schwarzenegger has recently signed a new
state budget. This is the earliest budget that has been approved
in 5 years. It causes you to think, why would the democrats allowed
the Governor to gain the upper hand by signing the budget so soon?
Apparently the democrats had found out that the Governor had filmed
commercials calling the democrats tax and spend politicians. They
did some polls which showed the democrats would loose on that
issue. Thus, the democrats decided to take the wind out of his
sails and sign off on a budget now rather than see the commercials.
Senator Kuels bill SB61 seeks to extend the 60-day
notice to terminate tenancy permanently for the rest of the state.
Right now the 60-day notice requirement in Santa Monica, Los Angeles
and San Francisco is scheduled to sunset December 31, 2005. The
bill has passed the Senate and is now on the Assembly floor although
is has not been able to move off the floor as of yet. Word has
it that the Governor is willing to veto the bill however we are
looking for personal horror stories as to the negative personal
impact of a 60 notice requirement versus a 30 day period. Yes,
there is generally a loss of money, but we are looking for a personal
story to tell the Governor.
Most people know by now that the annual general adjustment in
Santa Monica is 3%. If the rent is more $1600 the maximum increase
is $48. This is yet another example of the Rent Control Board
protecting wealthy tenants. While this might sound better than
last years increase of 1.3% we merely have to look at the City
Council to understand why. The City wants to raise your water
bill by approximately 31% in January or if it is a 2 year phase-in
they will only raise it 40%. Then again they started to think
about it and may just raise it 47% over a 4 year period. Well,
what is good for water is good for trash so the City is now proposing
to raise your trash bill by 20 to 30%. So much for your $48 rent
The City is always crying poor mouth. A recent study shows that
a 9% increase in revenue to California cities coffers due to increase
in property tax assessments under prop 13. I would think with
the high property values in Santa Monica that our Citys
revenue has increased more than that.
The city of Santa Monica is busy trying to keep up with the requirements
of other cities. I think they have a special staff position to
investigate all of the fees and inspection requirements throughout
the state in order to heap more responsibilities on landlords
and generally make your life miserable. Example, when the City
of Los Angeles implemented the yearly building inspection in order
to battle slumlords Santa Monica decided to require annual inspections
and charge you a hefty fee for such a privilege. I saw one example
where an owner was cited because a plumber failed to pull a permit
to change a hot water heater which went out in the night. There
was no problem with the way the heater was installed, but the
city wanted their permit fees.
It appears as though Santa Monica is looking to require earthquake
shutoff valves. These will cost several hundred dollars to have
a licensed plumber install. Since gas is explosive by nature,
I advise you to get a licensed and insured plumber to install
the gas shutoff device. What will they think of next?