It’s time for rent control in Burbank

Shhh! Don’t tell our local landlord Anja Reinke, but we’ve gotten some interesting off-the-book responses the last couple of days to our piece about rent control and Burbank history.

It seems there’s an ad hoc effort going on to get the ball rolling with a renter’s protection ordinance for our town. Glendale has one– kind of– and so does Los Angeles, in a big way, especially in regards to just-cause eviction, which is now universally required–but people in Burbank have gotten fed up at being ignored.

The economic slowdown has lowered Burbank rents to a greater extent than most landlords will want to admit. But that’s just for now. You can be sure that when things pick up so will the increases. It’s inevitable, and thus a few tenants want to nip this habit in the bud with a comprehensive set of tenant protections and rent stabilization measures.

Since it’s time to get the ball rolling on this plan, we’ve decided to designate ourselves as a command central, or at least a mouthpiece for lobbying. There are some big elections coming up and that means there’s no better time to start publicizing a good issue like this. It shouldn’t always be bad news around here. We all need some big changes in Burbank.

Actually, we were surprised at this possibility, considering what happened a few years ago in Glendale when attorney Ken Carlson finally got tired of hearing all the doom and gloom stories and decided to get rent control on the ballot. As expected, that city’s landlord class went completely bananas at this possibility, and even went so far as to float a phony ballot initiative of their own that would have actually banned any such future efforts in that direction.

[Right here are some details about that sleazy ordinance, which was eagerly supported by the Glendale City Council, of course. And here’s how Carlson kicked their ass in court a few years later.]**

They lost in the end, but as part of the fun our bejeweled neighbors were subjected to an immensely dishonest signature gathering campaign, one that had their paid takers actively urging gullible residents to sign the sheets, “if you want to have rent control in Glendale…”

Of course, what they were signing up for was the exact opposite, but that’s the kind of dishonest tactic these desperate realtors were engaging in– sneakily trying to sell an anti-rent control ordinance as the real thing and then hoping that nobody would read the fine print.

Well, we regular Burbankers have always been much savvier than people in Glendale, and none of us were born yesterday either. We think that instituting rent control in Burbank is an idea that’s long past due, and it’s something that should be fought for. The time has come. And don’t tell Anja Reinke this one either, but the vast majority of Burbank residents are now tenants, not homeowners, which means there’s no longer any excuse for the City to keep giving them the shaft by pretending they don’t exist. There’s also something called power in numbers.

Our local leadership’s Chamber of Commerce and Disney girl fantasies may have worked 20 years ago, but this is a completely different age. These are tougher times, and they’re not going to get any better for a lot of people who weren’t expecting any of this so soon. It’s time for Burbank to grow up and start buttering everyone’s bread and not just that of their sleazy friend’s. If not, then that means some day it’s going to be catfood and Craigslist time for the rest of us, which is unacceptable.

It’s time for our local Burbank tenants to organize and win. We’ve been in contact with a few of the people who are starting a tenant’s association here in town, and we’ll be following up. We’re definitely big supporters of any kind of modern-day renter’s protections. The time to start is now when the rents are lower, and not when they’ve already gone up.

And here’s an idea. How about just-cause eviction in Burbank, and an anti-retaliation ordinance that makes it a chargeable misdemeanor for any landlord to go after a tenant for complaining? Even Glendale has that.

** NOTE:

Check out how Glendale City Attorney Scott Howard completely lies in the second newspaper article, about how Glendale had supposedly not taken a position on the lawsuit.

Of course they did. The city council voted to place the anti-rent control initiative on the ballot despite Carlson’s pleading that it was illegal, which was later upheld on Appeal. In other words, Glendale sided with the landlords (!)

Howard, by the way, is married to Burbank’s own Assistant City Attorney Juli Scott.

Speaking of siding up, a few years ago a longtime council critic named Teresa Karam revealed at oral communications that they had both chosen to enroll their own children in Burbank schools (at our affluent Jefferson Elementary, natch) despite their living in Glendale, and despite the BUSD having an embargo on all inter-district permits, and despite Jefferson’s status of being legally “impacted” at the time and thus not eligible for additional enrollments.

Gee. Now why would an affluent, Anglo resident of Glendale not want their kids to go to Glendale schools?



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68 responses to “It’s time for rent control in Burbank

  1. Chad

    Semi, while “walkin’ the pooch” this morning I was thinking this very thing. I’m a homeowner now (I mean Countrywide, I mean Bank of America owns the house I live in..) but for the vast majority of my life I was a renter and lived in rent controlled situations and non-rent controlled situations. I found out yesterday that an older apartment building down the street from me is up for sale. 90% of the tenants are older single women. All are retired and on fixed incomes. They have a rather positive environment for themselves in which they look out for one another, have their doors always open, and more or less live their lives in relative peace with each other and their neighbors. They’ve been tenants at this place for as long as I’ve been here which is ten years and probably much longer than that. I found out that the place is for sale now despite there being no “for sale” signs. One of the ways they are promoting the “desirability” of the property is by saying “tenants are paying undermarket rent.” That’s in the Zillow ad. I take this as an invitation to buy the property and evict the lower paying tenants. This made my blood boil. So, as I was walking the dog this morning past the property, I had a long argument with myself about why Burbank doesn’t have any protection for tenants. It’s brutal. I then said to myself that someone has to champion this issue. Then I read this post. Uncanny timing. If anyone wants to post information on meetings, organization, etc… please do so. I’d like to help in any way I can.

    • semichorus

      It’s a powerful issue, and in fact, re-sales are the #1 reason why Burbank rents skyrocket.

      Most landlords are OK, and thus have nothing to worry about from rent control. But I’ve known of lots of sales that result in immediate 30 % or more monthly increases as soon as the new owner takes over. Burbank apts are also prime territory for flipping, too.

      What will happen to those women is not eviction, they’ll just raise their rents. There are many apts in Burbank just like that. There used to be more.

  2. Al in SoCal

    Will Dr. Gordon support it?

    • DixieFlyer

      No surprise at some comments,ever.

      Whomever said that there’s “no such thing as a dumb question” obviously hadn’t read anything from al.

      The rest of us have learned that Anje and Golonski are, in fact, landlords.

      So naturally al asks about Dr. Gordon

      Good Luck, Semi–on your efforts to provide needed “Remedial Reading & Thinking Courses”.

  3. Chad

    If he does, I might support him.

    • Al in SoCal

      He does not – or his cheerleading squad would have already “defended” him. This isn’t about rent control – this is about bashing council members that they don’t like. If it WERE about rent control then they would ask every member about it – not just a select few.

  4. Masked

    Fat chance you’ve seen the boobs that run this City how can you pay all these 6 figure salaries if you lower the tax base.
    It won’t be “prudent” in this climate we’ll let the market determine rents even though our affordable housing is unaffordable to the Burbank renters that are displaced.
    Not to mention the high cost of utilities and services in the City, affordability is sacrificed for sustainability projects like keeping the BWP boss happy with a 21% pay raise.

  5. Kyle hislar

    And I think there needs to be some controls in Malibu!!!!! Gosh darn it! I can’t afford to live there – someone please take a Malibu’ landlord’s rights away from him so I can live in Malibu!!

    It’s not fair to me! I spent my entire life not saving up for my retirement – now, no one will let me live in Malibu for a decent rent!

    What am I supposed to do? Oh, I know – I should have saved more money to live on! What do I do now? There are tons of affordable places in the rest of the country that I can afford, but I want to live in Malibu! Why can’t they just cut all the rents in half and them everybody can live in Malibu?? Isn’t it everyones god given right to live in Malibu? No matter the demand for housing, why can’t all those Malibu landlord’s rights be taken away from them? We can all fit in Malibu – there’s no need for supply and demand to ration out housing to those who can afford it – we should all be able to afford it!

    Did I mention I should be given a free Mercedes as well as my discounted rent?

    • semichorus

      So what does that have to do with Burbank?

      And by the way, nobody ever forced a landlord to become a landlord. They do it because it’s easy money– guaranteed. They know they have a captive market.

      Something else. Landlords always love to talk about “the market,” such as, “let the market decide.” But when has any landlord ever LOWERED someone’s rent when the market went down?

      Like in these days.


      • Deb

        I agree with Kyle. If you can’t afford to live in Burbank…then don’t. Move to other parts of Los Angeles that HAVE rent control. Why are the property owners made to LOWER the rents to fit people with lower incomes and turn Burbank into a dump. I am planning on buying an apartment. YES, I saved for years and have also saved for my retirement. Something all of you rent controllers should have done. Rent control will just make owners have a set amount of income renters will make before renting to them. Simple. It will weed out the ones with lower incomes. Go live in a town you CAN afford. If I have good tenents paying a fair price I would NOT raise their rent. I have one tenent now in my private home. 4 years and not one rent increase. Rent control in Burbank WILL hurt the renters in the long run when they will NOT have the income to qualify them for apartments.

        • Deb

          And believe me, there are still LOTS of people who are able to afford the rents in Burbank. You can’t hardly find any apartments that are vacant.

    • Anonymous

      Great satire.
      Let’s destroy Burbank with rent control, so we can have filthy streets like Los Angeles, Gangs like Los Angeles and let’s get rid of the studios so we can put affordable housing and make a big garbage dump of Burbank.
      If you want a filthy city with no great services, just move one mile away from Burbank and you will have rent control and no quality of life

      • semichorus

        Yes, I’d hate to live in that awful pit of rent-controlled Pacific Palisades. Or Beverly Hills.

        Or Studio City, or Tarzana, or that awful, awful West Hollywood. What dumps.

        Rent control works. Ask any New Yorker– who has seen their city flourish during the last 20 years.

        And btw– North Hollywood and Van Nuys were much WORSE places to live before rent control started in the late 70s. Ever see them in 1975 or so?

  6. Chad

    Well, Kyle, Santa Monica and Cambridge, MA used to have some of the strictest rent control laws in the country and yet they still had many affluent areas/property owners side by side with renters in rent control properties. Affluence and rent control are not necessarily mutually exclusive.

  7. Kyle hislar

    And the rest of the 95% of the country which doesn’t make landlords supplement undeserving tenants doesn’t have any more of a homeless population then Santa Monica or Cambridge. Oh wait, I forgot, Santa Monica with it Nazi rent controls laws is virtually the capital for the homeless? Hmmmm?

  8. jabba

    well said. These people couldnt tell their ass from a hole in the wall. Just ask Dixie Mike the douche bag Nolan. He will explain it to you.

  9. jabba

    Since we know Dixie Fyer is Mike Nolan, I think it’s safe to assume that Going Nutts and Masked are the other two guys that call Mc Cambridge park their home

  10. jabba

    as they say on the Simpsons. HAHA

  11. Todd

    Put rent control on the ballot and I will vote for it. The developers in Burbnk are beyond greedy.

    • Deb

      It will NOT pass on the ballot. Too many home owners to own these apartments.Like I said. Rent control will just cause owners to have HUGE limits on income and will not rent to people who do not make this huge income…That will settle rent control…because most of you would not qualify for my rental units due to your lower income.

      • semichorus

        If you require huge incomes then you won’t have very many applicants.

        • Deb

          I have NEVER had a problem getting renters..NEVER….so don’t kid yourself. I don’t require HUGE incomes but if rent control comes to Burbank, I sure will on my applications. Lots of people who rent make very good money but for whatever reason do NOT want to own a home.

          • semichorus

            What makes you think you’ll have that luxury? I thought it was supposed to be a rental “market,” and not a landlord as boss kind of thing?

            So much for “letting the market decide…”

            • Deb

              Actually, YES, I do have that Luxury and YES if I own the apartment building I am the one who says what goes…You don’t like that then don’t rent. I figure out how much rent I wish to charge…If my property taxes go up so does the rents. I am NOT one who just jacks up rent for no reason. I have tenents who have lived in my building for 7 to 10 years with maybe ONE rent increase. When I have good tenents I leave them alone…Hence why my building is ALWAYS rented out…NO vacancies.

  12. Kyle hislar

    To Chad and all the other misinformed do-gooders: the next time your boss is about to give you a promotion and a 10% raise because you are worth it and that’s what companies are paying for your hard work – I hope the government steps in and tells your boss that 10% is just too high and that 2% is the maximum your boss is allowed to increase your salary. Well see just how hard you work after that!

    • semichorus

      Do employees set their own pay, the way landlords set their own rents? Don’t think so.

      Actually, during WWII, we had major wage and price controls, which worked pretty well. There was a good reason for them, too, because lots of money was floating around and there would have been huge inflation and price-gouging otherwise.

      Beyond that, your analogy is faulty in even more ways. Landlords own their properties– workers don’t usually own their own employers– so landlords have a major incentive to work hard and keep them up.

      And speaking of property declines, what many Burbank landlords have been doing the last few years to prop up their current unsustainable rent levels is allowing something that they NEVER would have done 20 years ago: multiple roommates.

      In fact, since the rise of Craigslist, it’s not unusual now in Burbank to see 4 or 5 unrelated adults all living together in one 2-bedroom apartment.

      So where one or two people could not support a $1600 a month rent, say, four or five roommates can– and do.

      That’s one BIG way that our local landlords have artificially propped up these higher rents– they juggle the market to their advantage by allowing more people in.

      One other way they do it is by actually REMOVING units from the market to keep them scarce. This happened bigtime in 2001, after that huge 2000 rent hike era. Many people moved out after that because they couldn’t afford 20 and 30% increases, and the landlords privately agreed to not advertise the new vacancies that they created in order to squeeze the market.

      In other words, landlords have many ways of manipulating the so-called “free market” to their financial advantage. Tenants do not.

      Mortgages stay the same. Property taxes stay the same. But the rents always go up. Just why is that?

      • Deb

        Property taxes do NOT stay the same when all you renters are voting YES on School bonds or any other kinds of bonds…If the bonds pass…your rent is going up since my property tax is going to be increased…

        • semichorus

          You’re going to raise the rent anyway! Regardless of taxes going up– or anything else.

          Remember when Proposition 13 was on the ballot, and Howard Jarvis promised all renters that if they voted for it their rents would go down?

          Hell, he even said that the landlords would give everybody a rent holiday that Christmas, just for thanks.

          Instead, right after it passed the rents went up even more. So…. that’s when these California cities instituted rent control.

  13. Todd

    I see overpaid government employees sitting at city halls all across the country. I call them the lazy fat piggies. They are the real cause of homlesness. Just take a look at Bell.

  14. Kyle hislar

    When has a landlord ever lowered the rent when the market went down? Clearly another uninformed do-gooder. Since you have been living under a rock – this is the greatest tenant market in the last 22 years. If your rent is below market, you stay where you are. If your rent gets above market, you simply move across the street to the the other building trying to get rents that are now a hundred dollars cheaper than last year. Sounds like a pretty good deal for renters! And by the way, thousands of tenants have been able to get their rents lowered where they are living (if they are not below market rates) landlords don’t want to lose tenants because rents have dropped.

    • semichorus

      So why aren’t landlords lowering rents for people already in their places?

      When the market goes up, they raise them– and then claim, “hey, it’s the market…”

      But when rents go down, how come they never automatically lower those same rents for their current people?

      That’s some market.

      And contrary to your dream world view of just being able to move all the time, no landlord ever lowers rents for their current tenants. At best, they don’t raise them.

      I know many, many people in Burbank who are now paying above-market rents.

  15. Kyle hislar

    Sorry, but I guess I wasn’t clear enough in my comment. THOUSANDS of tenants have been able to get their current rents lowered because market rents have fallen. And, the smart landlords have lowered their (now over market) tenants rents before those tenants have left.

    • semichorus

      In what dream world is that?

      What tenant has ever suddenly gotten a change-of-terms notice in the mail that that says “your rent is being lowered $50, beginning on the 1st of next month…”

      I want to see one of those notices. So does everybody else.

      I also want to see the apartment buildings for sale in places like West Hollywood or L.A. that can’t be sold because of rent control, where no buyer can be found for that reason.

      We hear this story all the time– that rent control drives landlords out of business because it’s not profitable any more– but just where is that?

      • Deb

        I would NEVER buy an apartment complex where there was rent control. Why should I? If I am the owner, I should be allowed to charge whatever rent I wish. If the renter does not like that amount..move. Thank goodness I own homes that I rent and can charge whatever I wish. If the renter is a good tenent..the rent will NOT increase. I tend to have lower rents to keep good tenents. AND if a GREAT tenant came to me asking to lower it due to a hardship…I just might do that in order to keep that tenant happy and in my home. Lets all turn Burbank into the slums of North Hollywood. You people wanting rent control are going to be the ones who won’t even get into an apartment in Burbank…We owners will just mandate that you make a huge amount for ALL tenants before moving in…There are LOTS of people making good money in Burbank and will have the income requirement for the apartment. The ones with lower incomes…won’t get the place.

      • Deb

        I would not buy any apartment building with rent control Why would I????

        • semichorus

          For guaranteed annual rent increases.

          For example, over the past five or six years LA landlords have all been raising their rents the statutory maximum of four percent a year. If the didn’t, then they lost their right to have done so forever more. So they all did.

          But how many BURBANK landlords have raised their rents four percent each year for the last five? None that I know of.

          Worse, most Burbank landlords have had to COME DOWN IN PRICE whenever they’ve had a vacancy pop up, due to the bad economy.

          Rent control also means fewer vacancies and more stable tenants.

          • Deb

            Like I have said in my other posts, I do NOT raise rents yearly. If I have GOOD tenents I leave their rent alone…In seven years I raised the rents ONCE….If rent control comes I will jack up those rents and have every applicant needing to make a lot more then they do now to qualify for my apartments. I NEVER have vacancies..NO one leaves my building…due to honest and fair rents. I do NOT and will NOT tolerate government telling me what I can rent my apartments out for.

            • semichorus

              It sounds then like you would have nothing to worry about if Burbank had rent control. It would not affect you one bit.

              Rent control doesn’t dictate what you can rent your units for. It just limits the annual increases to a reasonable amount. That’s only fair– and good landlords like yourself have no problem.

              • Deb

                Yes, but I don’t raise the rents on GOOD tenents. Other tenents who are always late, thrashing the apartment do get their rents raised. I raise them up high enough so they move out…This is what Rent Control would PREVENT me from doing..Keeping lousy tenents and unable to raise rents to get rid of them. So like I said..If rent control comes…applicants will have to show they have MORE income or they won’t get an apartment from me. Or I will just sell my apartment and buy one where there is NO rent control…or buy a new building in neighborhoods that have rent control..ONLY buildings before a certain year are in rent control in those areas.

                • semichorus

                  So you use rents to punish people? I thought rent was a function of the “marketplace.” Apparently not in Burbank.

                  Why don’t you just evict them if they’re so bad, instead of playing games? And what makes you so sure that it’s such a captive market that you can dictate what kind of applicants you’ll get?

                  You act like you’re doing these applicants a favor– when in fact, they are the customers.

                  BTW, what you are doing with these punishment rents is called “constructive eviction,” and in California it can be illegal. Rent control or no rent control. Especially if you use it to retaliate or discriminate.

                  In fact, this is the case in all states.

                  • Deb

                    They are going to punish an apartment owner…Costs a lot to evict someone…if you raise rents they just give notice and move. Again, GOOD tenents NEVER have their rents raised…If a GOOD tenent came and said they were having problems…and they had to move since rent was too high…and if they had been there a while and ALWAYS paid their rent on time…I would LOWER their rent..YES, I would do that…and HAVE done that…Rent control hurts the owner and in return hurts the renter…I always have my units occupied…NOT a problem for years…I fix anything that breaks FAST, am fair with my rents, will bend over backwards for my tenents…Will NOT have the government tell me what I can and can’t do with the apartment I own..I struggled to save up money to buy the place..years ago….its MINE and I am the one who says what rents should be and when I can raise them..And, by how much…That is MY right. Buy an apartment and you can do the same…

                  • Deb

                    It is a captive market since I have NO vacancies for a few years now. All good tenents. And I think I am doing THEM a favor by giving them a cool apartment and a fair price and then NOT raising rents…I have no mortgage on my apartment, bought it If I don’t have one tenent or even two..who cares…It won’t harm me…I have other sources of income on top of this place…Its only a 12 unit building…plus I work full time as a professional…I use a property management company and have NO problems….Guess I can do whatever I feel like doing…Free country and NO rent control in Burbank…Head on over to North Hollywood if you want rent control…But no…everyone wants to be in Burbank, wants their kids in the Burbank school district…Yep..

                  • semichorus

                    You sound like a good landlord who’d have nothing to worry about from rent control.

                    But don’t worry anyway, because it will never happen in Burbank !

                  • Anonymous

                    Thank you…Yes, I don’t think it will EVER come to Burbank…

  16. Dirty Mary2

    The only time I have ever heard of a landlord offering to lower anyone’s rent is when they receive the 30-day notice after the tenant has found a new residence and put down a deposit — too little too late. They might have to rent that same apartment to the next tenant for less. If a group of tenants threaten to move I have seen landlords make some concessions like clean or install new carpets, repaint, etc., but haven’t heard of any rent rollbacks.

    Look around town, there are tons of “for rent” signs everywhere. I’m guessing many people have moved out of the area looking for employment, or moved in with friends or family. I have never seen so many for rent signs.

  17. Chad

    1) Kyle, one does not “simply” move from one apartment to the next. People have to come up with first, last, security, etc… And, good luck getting your full security deposit back from the previous landlord. Moreover, sometimes people have neighbors that are part of their support network, e.g., taking care of pets, driving a kid to school, or food shopping when someone’s sick. Leaving an apartment building can be both an economic as well as emotional hardship for many. 2) The American homeless population, in its latest iteration, began with the Reagan administration. That savior of the conservative cause within very short order closed state run mental facilities and put, to use your phrase, THOUSANDS of mentally ill people on the streets. The phrase “homeless” became part of the popular parlance at that time. Places like Santa Monica have a lot of “homeless” because the authorities go easy on them. That’s a decision made among the city council, police, social services and the citizens of Santa Monica. It has nothing to do with rent control. BTW, Santa Monica and Cambridge, MA did away with their rent control laws for the most part. Developers and landlords won.

    • Al in SoCal

      Exactly – the rent control – aka landlord’s petty cash fund rarely comes back to the tenant without a generous chunk removed for good measure. You could file a complaint, but most do not.

      The life of a renter … though honestly it’s not much better in a condo with an HOA.

  18. Chad

    Oh and Kyle, the only place I know of that someone is going to get a double digit raise these days is at the Burbank Water and Power Department.

  19. Al in SoCal

    Nobody is advocating some draconian rent controls – but if someone is living there and paying on time – then they should be afforded some type of pricing protection.

    The *only* reason I’m asking about Dr. Gordon is that the board here has already come to conclusions about 2 other council members and attacked – but Dr. Gordon has never (to my recollection) said he is pro-rent control. It’s such a blatant double-standard.

    Since nobody will even venture to guess – I’m thinking he will NOT support it – and skate off free of any negative comments from this board. As usual.

    • semichorus

      I agree with you about Gordon– he won’t support council action because it would be political suicide. I criticize Reinke because she’s a landlord who lies about it.

      But council actions are rarely successful anyway. It would have to be done via a voter initiative.

    • Dirty Mary2

      When you have behaved as the other council people have — you don’t get to skate on anything. They should all be ashamed of themselves for the coverups and abuse of power by the former police chief and some in the department, city attorney and others in his department and city manager. Protecting each other at all costs is what corruption is. Hence the exorbitant attorney costs and fees to coverup and intimidate.

      If you look up the definition of political corruption in Wikipedia you will find this statement:

      “Forms of corruption vary, but include bribery, extortion, cronyism, nepotism, patronage, graft, and embezzlement.”

      Here’s another interesting statement:
      A state of unrestrained political corruption is known as a kleptocracy, literally meaning “rule by thieves”.

      If renters in Burbank united and were protected by rent control, not fearful of eviction, many might get involved in voting and participating in local elections.

      • Masked

        Rent control is not the point, the Burbank Housing Authority is artificially setting the low income rental rates. The same staff reports that justify huge raises for employees are the ones that come up with a convoluted formula for their housing rents and they are not inline with the county wide prices. When you build Cadillac housing you charge premier prices for the privilege of being allowed to rent from the City.

  20. Tim

    and city officials and their supporters like to say just trust us!

  21. the Voters

    All I can say after watching the Bell video is people in Burbank realy need to wake up while we still have a city to save. These people running this city will not leave until they have drained every drop of blood out of this city. They need to stop spending and start accounting.

    • Andrew

      Accountability! The city officials have never heard of such a thing.

      Look at what is happening. Several people have filed lawsuits against the city. There’s a lot more to come too. But instead of the city doing something to solve the problems they continue to cover things up, just ask Julie Scott about that report. But now they want to bail out the cusamano’s, they practically own Burbank. Who much is this going to cost us. It’s bad enough they cant account for 12 million that somehow went missing. I want to know who got paid, and to cover what up.
      Fed’s where are you?

  22. Tim

    The real situation for renters in Burbank exposed.

    • semichorus

      I’ve known of landlords with smoking tenants who won’t take smoking tenants now– which raises the question of– why? Like, why now the sudden change in policy?

      I think the answer’s obvious– the rental “market” around here is changing.

      • Masked

        The Council has considered banning smoking in apartments, they made common spaces off limit awhile back.

        • Irwin Fletcher

          Clearly the word “Armenians” was scribbled on there by someone else- this is obviously a stupid prank, but I wouldn’t assume the landlord put it there (maybe a disgruntled tenant). It’s graffiti, plain and simple. Just erase it and move on. It’s no secret that anglo-armenian tensions are high in this region. If they find the person that did it, send them to sensitivity training.

  23. Mjr

    I saw an officer show up, inspect the sign and leave. According to him there was NOTHING wrong with the sign.

    Later the same officer shows up. It so happened the press was there, so then and ONLY then the officer decides the sign is inappropriate and takes the sign “for evidence”

  24. BoB

    Probably because he /she was told do so by higher up….wouldnt surprise me…especially since he or she didnt have a clue what the heck he / she was investigating….funny how one mintue the sign is fine…then returns and now its evidence…evidence of what? try to ask that question and you’ll probably get some nonesense that the sign violated some obsecure Burbank code violation….maybe the length of the stick on which the sign was on…it was off by about…oh this much! The funny thing will be that who evers yard its on…will get the fine! Follow the money!

  25. john

    Our country was based on a free market economy. Rents are set by the market and should remain that way. When demand is down, rents will follow, and vice-versa. You want low-end slums, where owners have no incentive to keep their properties in good condition, and tenants have low rents, but live in just barely habitable properties – then push for rent control. By the way, what do you think happens to land value, property value, and general economic climate in rent control areas – they are below non-rent control areas.

    The more government gets involved the worst things get. Why do you think the current downturn has lasted so long!

    My guess is, the people who are for rent control, are tenants are those who have never been landlords themselves and are not small business owners/entrepreneurs, etc.

    • semichorus

      Rent control has never hurt Beverly Hills or West Hollywood, or Studio City, or Brentwood, etc etc etc.

      And how come landlords never lower your rent when the market goes down….? Which it is right now?

      Never ever ever.

      So much for the “market” being the decider.

  26. I sent a letter to my landlord explaining how much raising rents negatively affects me. I do not get the luxury of going to my boss to ask for a raise as I have no job or boss. My income remains the same while the landlord’s pockets get fatter and fatter on the rents we pay.

    Landlords give themselves a yearly cost of living and we get squat!!!

  27. Konstantine Anthony

    I’m running for Burbank City Council, please contact me because I’m interested in getting Rent Control implemented here.

  28. Nice to know the battle rages on and tenants have not given up. Even though a majority of the population in California rents [about 60%], tenants don’t vote in significant numbers [about 5%] in local elections. Overlay the zoning map on the voting precinct map and see. Better still, see how few votes it takes to elect a city councilman. You’ve got a lot of upscale tenants in Burbank due to the studios, and so forth, who probably vote. Maybe a celebrity could help take up the cause. Jane Fonda put Santa Monica over the top in their second rent control petition, and they got a majority of City Council elected to support rent control in the same election. -Ken Carlson [the one mentioned in the article, above]

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