Asking Los Angeles landlords to pay more for rental inspection fees is not the answer.
If the Housing and Community Investment Department (HCID) has its way, the annual inspection fee for apartments in the city of Los Angeles will nearly double. The Housing Department collects this fee from approximately 750,000 multifamily units but says the current fee isn’t adequate to absorb the costs of the Systematic Code Enforcement Program.
Through this program, housing inspectors conduct a site visit to every rental income property throughout the city with two or more units on a three-year revolving basis. In a letter outlining its opposition to the proposal, the California Apartment Association says the city can accomplish its shortfall in funding without raising fees for landlords.
A better solution would be to cut costs by, for example, conducting less frequent inspections for landlords with a good track record of compliance.
MT Evictions agrees with the CAA that the number of inspections is overkill. Los Angeles is in an exclusive club by requiring 100% of available units, and that’s on top of inspections that are made in response to complaints. Interestingly, this is despite the city’s own findings that 95% of property owners properly maintain their units. So why so many inspections?
Better to lighten the workload by following the example of San Jose and Seattle by randomly sampling properties with a history of compliance. According to the CAA, there is now an opportunity to see what other cities are doing right, learn from it, and explore cost-cutting measures that would maintain the mission and integrity of the program without putting added expense and burden on landlords.