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Council Seeks Records in Rent Dispute

December 21, 1986|ANN JOHNSON | Times Community Correspondent

RANCHO PALOS VERDES — The City Council last week requested the rent records of Palos Verdes Apartments on Los Verdes Drive after the president of the residents association accused management of raising the rents of current residents above what new renters are paying.

Michael McCutcheon, regional property manager for Corporate Management Services, which manages the complex, denied the allegation and agreed to supply the council with the records.

McCutcheon said the owners could face foreclosure on the complex if a 10% increase in rents for 1987, which tenants are also disputing, is not imposed. He added that the property owners have "not taken a penny out" since assuming possession of the property in 1985 but have had to spend excessive amounts on it.

Last year, a City Council subcommittee of Robert Ryan and John McTaggart assisted tenants and management of Palos Verdes Apartments in reaching a verbal agreement that restricted rent increases to not more than 10% this year.

Now, 106 notices of rent increases of up to 10%, starting next month, have been mailed to residents of the 396-unit complex.

Pamela Foreman, president of Palos Verdes Apartments Residents Assn., told the council that tenants fear they will be given 10% rent increases every year, making rent unaffordable, particularly for those on fixed incomes who, she said, compose 25% of the current tenants. She appealed to the council to intercede again on the tenants' behalf.

Last weekend, the residents association picketed management offices after the rent increases were received. About 40 residents participated, said Jack Lyons, an association member. He said rents range from $750 to $1,300 a month.

A year ago, when the tenant-landlord dispute first surfaced, the city drew up an urgency rent-control ordinance but the council tabled it when the complex's management agreed to negotiate with the renters.

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