Update January 31, 2017
[Here we are in a rent control building owned by Hi Point Apts, LLC and managed by LB Property Management. Even though primary renovations can be heard loud banging and it is now 5:26 p.m., the city is basically saying “we don’t give a f _ __k about the tenants” or about the rent control laws. I wonder if I should go up there and show the maintenance crew my ass?]
Subject: Illegal renovations in apt 15 is subject to Stop Work Order at 1522 Hi Point St Apartments 90035- today contractor on site Saturday
From: [tenant name and email redacted]
Cc: email@example.com; firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com;
Date: Saturday, January 28, 2017 7:02 PM
Dear LBPM/agent for Hi Point Apts LLC:
As a follow up to my email earlier today, I share with you the email exchange with Catherine Gaba
that occurred in 2015, as Gaba was an employee of LADBS, emails September 1, 2015 – October 5, 2015. I note that some have quoted LAMC section SEC. 41.40. NOISE DUE TO CONSTRUCTION, EXCAVATION WORK – WHEN PROHIBITED, which is a “noise”ordinance, not a construction ordinance.
Gaba notes that in order for the repairs to proceed [apt 15 for example], there has to be a THP which allows the Housing Department to sign off on the permits. No THP for apt 15 that I know of, then there was no sign off on permits.
Further Gaba indicates the hours of primary renovations, and related work, are Mon-Fri 8 am to 5 pm. No Saturdays or Sundays. She notes that “we have gone and told the contractor to adhere to the hours you noted” and that “we will fine them if we see any violation”.
The work being done today, according to Gaba, is not authorized as there was no sign off on the permits, and no primary renovation or related work is allowed on Saturdays or Sundays.
Any work outside the permitted hours is subject to a Stop Work Order from the City. Please cease all work immediately at the property that is primary renovations related and occurring outside the permitted hours.
All rights reserved.
[tenant name and phone redacted]
1522 Hi Point St
Los Angeles CA 90035
cc: Hi Point Apts LLC Walter Barratt, Cliff Renfrew, Ali Mozannar
…the city is basically saying “we don’t give a f _ __k about the tenants” or about the rent control laws…
LOS ANGELES- As tenants at 1522 Hi Point St Apartments ready for a new round of primary renovations, what are the hours that workers can be on the property?
First, a little background on renovations and demolitions. [This is not meant to be legal advice and only meant to be a general overview]. The Los Angeles Municipal code section will define “primary renovations” and “demolitions”. Generally demolitions refer to an entire structure being destroyed; primary renovations refer to maintenance of an existing unit/house that are of short duration where a tenant/owner will be able to reside during the construction or after construction is completed.
For Los Angeles rent control buildings, there is a whole host of regulations that appear to be under the jurisdiction of the Los Angeles Housing and Community Investment Department [not to be confused with the Los Angeles Housing Authority]. The Los Angeles Building and Safety department includes code enforcement inspectors for multifamily dwellings as well as single homes.
Having witnessed primary renovations in an 18 unit box building [not a one story garden apartment] —and not to be confused with capital improvements to the entire building— I wondered why I saw renovation workers at the building at 6:00 am and well after 8 pm at night and on Saturdays and Sundays. I read the rules on tenant habitability plans [“THP”] which stated the hours of work as 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Monday thru Friday. So I started complaining to code enforcement, and then to the owner, and then to building and safety, and then to rent control. Either they didn’t know or they referred to what they believed was a “construction ordinance” LAMC 41.40 which states noise is prohibited between 9 pm -7 am and 6 pm to 8 am on Saturdays and Sundays. Upon careful reading, I found that LAMC 41.40 was intended as a “noise” ordinance [not specifically a construction ordinance] and it was called a “noise” ordinance and everyone assumed the 9 pm to 7 am meant that construction was allowed between 7.am. and 9 p.m. [Not what the ordinance says.] I confronted numerous officials because I put the rent control regulations and the noise ordinance together, and it seemed the practical intent was that where a structure was partially occupied as the 18 unit building is, then the 8 am to 5 pm hours of renovation Monday thru Friday should apply. Believe me, out of numerous government employees, only one official wrote me and told me the correct hours in this rent control building are 8:00 am to 5 pm Monday thru Friday and apparently she may have called the owner and the building manager also.
The hours of renovations are important because they help to protect other tenants’ right to peaceful enjoyment of the premises while giving the property owner a reasonable amount of time to do renovations. Again as opposed to a garden apartment complex, in a box building, dust from asbestos and lead cleanup can flow throughout the property and common areas. [That may be one reason why the owner removed the hallway carpet because it was never shampooed and likely full of asbestos and lead contamination.]
The hours of renovation and the THP help to assure that the city knows the renovations are occurring and has some idea of the permits and licenses needed and that safe work practices are being followed [which has not been the case at 1522 Hi Point Apartments]. Lead poisoning may show up quickly while asbestos contamination may take years before its damages show up, well after a tenant has vacated. All the old apartments facing renovation involve walls being removed [asbestos and lead dust] and the popcorn ceiling being removed [lead and asbestos contamination]. Again contrary to unsafe work practices at 1972 built Hi Point Apartments, the owner should employ dust extractors and strip door insulation to avoid dust exposure to other tenants and tenants tracking the dust from the parking area into their apartments. [None of this was done.]
“If your home was built before 1978, there is a good chance it has lead-based paint. In 1978, the federal government banned consumer uses of lead-containing paint, but some states banned it even earlier. Lead from paint, including lead-contaminated dust, is one of the most common causes of lead poisoning.” https://www.epa.gov/lead/protect-your-family-exposures-lead
As a tenant, you have the right to demand safe work practices. You have the right to demand that the owner comply with the 8:00 am to 5 pm hours of renovations. Your rent is paying for the repairs, for the intercom system, for the water heater, etc. and you have the right to demand health and safety. Your rent still pays for an intercom system that is not fully operational and your rent pays for the parking structure and the sewer clean outs that create a trip and fall hazard around the building and the dog feces being stored in open container in front of the building.
The city inspectors have the authority to stop work at 1522 Hi Point Apartments and to revoke the owner right to collect rent if the owner does not file the THP for any units subject to primary renovations.
Don’t let the slum landlord owner take advantage of your rent monies!
[If you think the owner and the city care about health and safety, ask them where the THP is for apt 15. There is none. The THP is meant to be publicly accessible.]
The hours of primary renovation are 8 am to 5 pm Monday thru Friday.
If you see workers on the property after this time, you can report them for violating your right to peaceful enjoyment of the premises.
Update January 26, 2017
If you see primary renovation/demolition workers at 1522 Hi Point St Apartments, there is:
No tenant habitability plan/tenant buyout form
No permit approval
No primary renovation checklist
No rent rent stabilization department approval
You may want to ask Mayor Eric Garcetti why this is happening in Los Angeles.
[FYI: if you walk up and down Hi Point St, you will notice many buildings are apartments or condos and have working intercom systems at the front of the building. The intercom systems must be installed by a state licensed electrician and such installation is approved by the city of Los Angeles code enforcement CFO. What do you think is the purpose of the intercom system?]
Who is Catherine Gaba?
Catherine Nuezca Gaba was the Assistant to Executive Officer, Building Civil Engineer, City of Los Angeles Building and Safety at 213-482-0435. If anyone would know the state and city regulations it would be her you would think? So why did the majority of city Building and Safety employees in 2015 disagree with Gaba, if not for discrimination and corruption under Mayor Eric Garcetti?
Racism Hi Point Apts