First, we congratulate The Times for its firm position against rent control and the damage it does to all concerned. Second, we are appalled at the biased attitude expressed in the news coverage and the editorial, "Proper Punishment."
Why don't you do a major story or write an editorial about what slum tenants do to tear up a building. No punishment is proper when only the owner is cited and prosecuted for doing that which both owner and tenant are legally responsible.
If you'll check the California Health and Safety Code and the L.A. Municipal Code, you'll find that the law holds that the tenant is equally responsible and to be held liable for creating and living in such conditions. Why wasn't a tenant cited at Avol's apartment?
The slum problem will never be solved until both parties responsible for these conditions are cited. If the tenants in Avol's apartment had also been cited, you can bet your bottom dollar that the building would not have been desecrated again after he spent $100,000 fixing it up. Both the owner and the renters would have been working together to solve the problem.
DANIEL C. FALLER
Faller is president of the Apartment Owners Assn.