A few weeks ago, Mr. Molano, president of the Glendale Apartment
Assn., stood up in a City Council meeting and gave a status report on
the progress of the landlord-authored, city-blessed 12/12 Disclosure Program. Several statistics were offered, including something like:
468 new units joined the GAA; calls handled by GAA included 60-plus
tenant calls and 60-plus landlord calls; and four new “cases” for
Does the number of “new apartment units” joining the GAA represent
a “ramp up” from February? A monthly average? If that number
represents a monthly average, and presuming there are approximately
65,000 rental units in Glendale, it would take close to 139 months
(nearly 11 1/2 years) to bring all units currently in the city under
the GAA umbrella.
Which landlords/which units have joined the GAA? Are they
identified by location? By owner? By property management firm? By
dba? How often is the list updated? Is it available to the public?
How does one obtain a list of participating landlords? How does a
tenant or prospective tenant know if their landlord/prospective
landlord is a participant in the 12/12 Disclosure Program?
Who is verifying GAA’s numbers? Who is auditing the GAA’s
procedures? Is the GAA complying with accepted standards for handling
grievances? For recording them? For documenting them? Where is the
accountability of this organization that the city has endorsed and is
providing free publicity to?
GAA’s credibility was further weakened by Mr. Molano’s responses
to direct queries, notably: Councilman Yousefian, while holding up a
flier presumably from the GAA, asked whether the bulletin had gone
out to all tenants. Mr. Molano’s response was “Yes.”
False. In fact, the GAA bulletin goes out to direct utility
customers. The GAA is being permitted free postage to carry its
“specia-interest group” message by piggy-backing in the city utility
bills. Consequently, if you are a tenant but not a direct utility
customer, you probably will not get the GAA bulletins.
Councilman Yousefian asked whether landlords were holding to the
Guaranteed Maximum Increase (GMI) contained in the 12/12 Disclosure Program. Mr. Molano’s response was “No.” He went on to explain that
by “disclosing” upcoming rental increases 12 months in advance, it
“softened” the blow for tenants who could then use the intervening
time to relocate.
The GAA would have you believe that significant increases only
occur after property acquisition or when the nice little guy who did
not raise his rents for several years tries to “catch up to market.”
Yes, speculators are attracted to this unrestricted landlord control
situation now in Glendale, and are flocking to “harvest” the
residents, increasing rents by 20%, 25% and more. Significant
increases are not, however, limited to those circumstances. Some
tenants have experienced three rent increases in 12 months to
cumulative totals in excess of 35% for property not recently acquired
or exempted by rent increases in recent years.
Do you believe the “statistics” -- verbally relayed statistics --
offered by a special-interest group appearing to have no
accountability either to the public or to the city that endorsed its
activities? If you do, feel free to contact the GAA to “mediate” your
rent disputes, and good luck.
ROBERTA J. GUTIERREZ