Yesterday the Los Angeles City Council considered and passed1 a long list of motions intended to alleviate some of the devastating effects of the coronavirus pandemic on our City. One of the most essential of these was CD11 rep Mike Bonin’s motion to stop evictions and ban late rent fees until the end of the emergency declaration and then give renters 24 months to pay missed rent.
The meeting itself was interminable and the public is excluded from City Hall and had to sit out on the front patio under a tent. But fortunately a number of extremely hard-working reporters were on the case, and it’s due to the incomparable Sahra Sulaiman‘s live-tweeting of this episode that I’m able to tell the story I’m telling here.
Sulaiman reported that Paul Krekorian, our second fashiest councilmember, was all about 24 months to repay being far, far too long:
Can’t tell who (Krekorian?) suggests that we are shifting loss bc if we give tenants too much time to pay back, the grace pd may extend beyond their lease and therefore end up being uncollectable. And that we need to consider more options, like applying security deposit to rent.
Krekorian went on to say that:
He acknowledges some folks will never be able to pay it back and that some landlords can absorb that, but others cannot, and that may have other negative consequences.
Got it? Paul Krekorian acknowledges that some landlords can absorb the loss from tenants not paying back rent while other landlords cannot absorb the loss. This is his reason for wanting to cut the repayment period down from 24 months to 6 months.
Hey, did you know that California state law requires public officials like Paul Krekorian to file annual disclosures of their financial interests? Well, it does. They’re called “Form 700s” and here’s Paul Krekorian’s from 2018. And as expected, rental income is income and thus counts as a financial interest to be listed on the form.
And right on there on his Form 700 it’s revealed that Krekorian and his wife Tamar own two rental properties. One is at 10531 Woodbridge Street and the other at 10612 Landale Avenue. The rent for each is between $10K and $100K, so the Krekorians have somewhere between $20K and $200K per year coming in from these rentals. And apparently they mortgaged their primary residence, which is at 4222 Rhodes Avenue, in 2016, so maybe, I mean just maybe, Krekorian’s thinking a little of his own situation here? No way to be sure, of course.
And then Sulaiman tells us that Herb Wesson is also concerned about these landlords who can’t absorb the income loss. Wesson is all about protecting the so-called mom and pop landlord:
Wesson says we are all in this together. He’s back to the moms and pops and says we need to take a time-out to chat with them.
It would be helpful if he mentioned what percentage mom-and-pop landlords comprise in the landlord mix.
Cool story, Herb! Meanwhile take a look at Wesson’s Form 700, which reveals that he also owns a rental property, this one at 5230 Bedford, and he’s making between $10K and $100K per year off that. Sounds like mom and pop level stuff, doesn’t it?
And next Sulaiman reports on Paul Koretz’s concern, which is that there ought to be an income cap for the protections to apply. camouflagically genial as always, Koretz invites us to consider the fact that he, a pretty well-paid fellow, does not need these kinds of handouts:
Koretz suggests the need for an income cap. Says he doesn’t really need help with his rent.
But the question probably isn’t so much whether Koretz needs help with his rent, but rather whether Koretz’s tenants need help with their rent. His Form 700 tells us that he and his wife Gail own a rental property at 9015 Cynthia Street #1.2
And after some more discussion, with only Mike Bonin holding out for the stronger protections, the Council went ahead and protected the unstated economic interests of some of its members and trimmed the repayment period down from 24 to 6 months. Bonin really stood out in the discussion for having some principles. Even councilmembers whose Form 700s don’t disclose rental income, e.g. Cedillo and Rodriguez, went along with the herd.3
And here’s a plot twist! Bonin’s husband Sean Arian owns a rental property too! Located at 4566 Lomita Street, it’s disclosed on Bonin’s Form 700 as Arian’s sole and separate property! So Bonin was not only sticking to his principles, he was sticking to them against the economic interests of his husband. This oughtn’t to but apparently does seem even more principled than if he’d had no economic interest at all. And that, folks, is the end of my story!
Oh! Except for one last thing! Nury Martinez and her husband Gerardo Guzman also own a rental, this one at 1305 Knox Street in the City of San Fernando, so also not affected by her vote. Jose Huizar too, which will be a comfort to him in the federal pen he’s headed for, to think of his property at 4903 La Calandria Way and all the money he and Richelle used to rake in from it! And Curren Price owns an unbelievably long list of rental properties. I’m looking into that matter separately, so stay tuned!
Image of the mom and pops is ©2020 MichaelKohlhaas.Org and here’s a whole bunch more moms and pops for your kind consideration.
- I mean they did what passes for considering and considered things passed.
- OK, Koretz’s cash cow is in West Hollywood rather than Los Angeles. The law that Council was discussing wouldn’t affect it. But class solidarity, amirite?!
- You can look at Form 700s for all 15 of the little creeps over here on Archive.Org. Only John Lee’s isn’t current, and that’s because he has not filed one for his new job as interim CD12 rep.