County’s “rental property” notice confuses landlords

Unincorporated Los Angeles County residents were asked Thursday to ignore a recent notice regarding the Department of Consumer and Business Affairs’ home registry, according to officials in the office of Supervisor Kathryn Barger.

The notice, which a number of residents of the communities surrounding the town of Santa Clarita received this week, was “not communicated properly” when he told all homeowners who received it to ” register their rental units and / or mobile home spaces, ”according to officials.

The registration fee would be waived for homeowners if they registered their home by January 1 at the latest. However, failure to do so would result in a fee of $ 90 and / or $ 30, depending on the unit registered, between January 2 and September 30. ; after October 1, 2022, a 10% late fee would be added.

The notice also advises landlords that they must register their rental units and / or mobile home spaces “annually and report any changes to the Department of Consumer and Business Affairs.”

Many of those who received the notice said they did not have rental properties and resided in the house the notice was sent to, causing confusion and long wait times for them. with the Ministry of Consumer and Business Affairs.

“People here, moved into a mobile home, built their house, and left the mobile home on the property so that when grandma or the kids come to visit them or something, they can use it,” he said. said Judy Reinsma, a resident of San Francisquito Canyon Road. . “But nobody praises them. They don’t want strangers on their property.

At least one of her homeless friends who lives near the Vista Valencia golf course has also received a notice, Reinsma said. Over the past week, the Nextdoor app for similar communities across the Santa Clarita Valley expressed the same confusion as Reinsma.

The San Francisquito Canyon Road resident said on Thursday that she received clarification, with a member of county staff advising her that this was a communication breakdown and that all homeowners must register their home in County of LA unincorporated, but there should have been a box stating that she was the “owner”, as opposed to just “owner” or “tenant”.

“The letter was not sent in error,” said Gina Ender, spokesperson for Barger’s office. “The ministry sent it out to all homeowners on purpose because their end goal is to ultimately have all homeowners, whether they are renting out their property or not, registered in their system. The problem is, the goal was not communicated correctly.

“The letter was intentional, but residents weren’t sure why they were receiving it,” Ender added.

According to Ender, the Rent Stabilization Ordinance envisioned having a full inventory of potential rental properties in unincorporated areas – which do not include incorporated towns, such as Santa Clarita, but would include areas such as Stevenson Ranch, Castaic and other parts of the SCV that are not in town.

“The intention was to then require owners to notify the county if they subsequently rented their property,” Ender said. “The communication plan request was made to DCBA a few days ago and they are working on a schedule. ”

Ender noted that Barger had voted against the Rent Stabilization Ordinance, a law which came into effect on April 1, 2020, and is designed to set “the maximum annual increase in rents based on changes in l ‘consumer price index (CPI) and provides tenants with protections against eviction without cause,’ according to the DCBA. “The RSO also provides a process for landowners to seek redress if they feel they are not receiving a fair return on their rental units below the maximum allowable annual rent increase.”

“I have asked the Ministry of Consumer and Business Affairs to immediately update the messages related to the rent register created by the Rent Stabilization Ordinance,” said Barger, whose 5e The district includes the SCV. “The department is in the process of updating its websites and registry and will provide updated guidance to contracted staff members who work with the county to provide telephone and email responses indicating that homeowners who do not are not owners can ignore the notice. ”

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