A couple of questions about last night’s council discussion on the Landlord-Tenant Commission:
1. Of the current membership, how many commissioners work in property management?
We didn’t hear this answered last night. All we heard was the news that one of the commission members owns out-of-town rental property, and was thus a “landlord.” But what about the three other “renters”? What do they do? We do know that the only two applicants for last night’s spot work as property managers, which means that last night’s choice is in property management, regardless of where they live.
2. Why doesn’t the council put the issue of rent control in Burbank on the ballot for an advisory-only vote from the public, just to see if there’s any community interest in this area? Instead, all we’re getting is council speculation about how people wouldn’t be for it.
Says who? Let’s find out.
And here’s some suggestions for upcoming council action on the LTC:
1. Set up its membership as an authentic 2-2-1 composition. This means two landlords, two bona fide tenant reps (not property managers in disguise filling up the slots), and one independent homeowner. Contrary to what the city clerk claimed last night– and in accordance with what Rogers accurately remembered from the past — this is how it used to be done in Burbank 15-20 years ago.
2. Establish a clear procedure for handling tenant complaints. As it was once done as well, each questionnaire should be assigned to a specific commission member, who then investigates the tenant’s complaint and files an ending report on the matter for the rest of the membership.
The council might also want to explore establishing two things that Glendale does for its tenants: a just cause eviction ordinance, and some strong and effective criminal anti-retaliation rules against landlords who go after their tenants for complaining.
That’s right. Glendale already has these good tenant protections, and has for about 15 years now. Burbank by contrast doesn’t even think about it.
Such rules and their administration/oversight would also give our LTC much more real things to do.