Re “Beverly Hills landlord arrested near UCLA,” Sept. 10 issue
Dan Yukelson of the Apartment Association observes [in the article] that there are bad actors on both sides of the tenant-landlord divide. Where have I heard that kind of language before? Somehow, it reminds me of the Apartment Association’s red “Make Apartments Great Again” baseball cap, which is available for just $20 at the association’s website. I’m happy to plug it because we all want great apartments, right?
However, if Mr. Yukelson does want to make apartments great again, then he can start by condemning Stephen Copen’s aggressive and unlawful assault on the personal belongings of his tenants.
Clearly, there is no defending him because the crime is plainly evident from the video (and damage afterward). But what we didn’t hear was an affirmative statement that Copen failed to meet the association’s high standard for the “best customer service possible,” as Yukelson said.
But Copen is not the outlier we might want to think. There is a small but significant proportion of Beverly Hills landlords who ignore or bully tenants and, in some cases, engage in predatory practices like unlawful utility billing and leasing unpermitted units to unsuspecting tenants. Some do all of the above. They expect a pass from the city because they got one for too long.
Recently, Beverly Hills stepped-up its regulation of apartment leasing. From what I hear from some tenants, though, I think we are still only halfway to where we need to be to “make apartments great again.”
I encourage Beverly Hills tenants with an experience to share to contact me at Beverly Hills Renters Alliance. We need to hear your stories if we are to wring better customer service from problem landlords.