Housing rights workshop teaches how to be a fair landlord

About 40 Glendale property owners and managers packed a room at the Pacific Community Center Thursday night for a workshop about fair housing and responsibilities as a housing provider in Glendale.

The workshop was presented by the city of Glendale and Housing Rights Center, a local nonprofit that provides free resources for tenants and landlords as a way to fight housing discrimination.

Yazmin Guzman, director of outreach and education for the nonprofit, led the two-hour event that covered the most common questions asked by landlords as well as an overview of how to avoid discrimination when providing housing.

Questions included the length of time a landlord has to return a security deposit (21 days), the amount of time a landlord must give notice to enter a rental unit (24-hour written notice unless it’s an emergency) and how much and how often a tenant’s rent can be increased (no limit in Glendale).

Some of Glendale’s housing quirks were discussed, namely the city’s just-cause eviction ordinance, which requires, with a few exemptions, that landlords must provide at least 60 days notice to a tenant in order to vacate a unit and fulfill one of 12 legal reasons for eviction.

Guzman presented ways to avoid discrimination because of personal characteristics protected by law in housing practices. She explained the difference between reasonable screening, such as asking for monthly income or compliance with property rules, and illegal scrutiny.

For example, rental decisions cannot be based on familial or marital status, source of income, national origin or a variety of characteristics protected by law.

A few of the questions asked by property managers and landlords in attendance included how much they can raise rent on Section 8 tenants, how to set occupancy limits based on square footage and if they can terminate the lease of a Section 8 tenant at anytime.

The Housing Rights Center holds two rights workshops a year, one for landlords and the other for tenants.

For more information, visit housingrightscenter.org.


Twitter: @JeffLanda

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