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Where is accountability for apartment owners’ group backed by

city?

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:

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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

arbitration.

Does the number of “new apartment units” joining the GAA represent

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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?

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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?

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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

Glendale


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