This new Beverly Hills ordinance is called "anti" rent gouging? (Times, Oct. 9) Who's kidding who? This ordinance legitimizes, institutionalizes and promotes rent gouging. For instance, an apartment now renting for $800 (the cheapest available, per today's want ads) will legally rise to $1,300 in five short years and to $2,100 in 10 years.
The "old" rent ordinance, passed in 1978, protects only tenants whose rent began at $600 or less. There were quite a few in 1978, but there have not been any for a long time now. Yet under the 1978 ordinance, any apartment renting to a new tenant for more than $600 is a "luxury" apartment, by definition. The City Council is responsible for this legal legerdemain. The council should only see some of these "luxury" apartments, which are often rented in "as is" condition. . . .
In Beverly Hills, the only apartments excluded from the "luxury" class are those whose tenants were in place in May, 1978, and then paying $600 or less. This means the vast majority of Beverly Hills apartments are "luxury," protected only by this laughable new "anti-gouging" measure.
But it is not a joke. It is a disgrace to the city of Beverly Hills, that permits compounding 10% annual rent gouging on vermin-infested, paint-flaking units that are, at least in Beverly Hills, "luxury" apartments.
MARIA McNAMEE WALP