LA’s Tenant Habitability Plan: What Does It Mean For You (The Tenant)?

With all of the recent talk centered around the mandatory seismic retrofitting of buildings in Los Angeles, you (the tenant) might be wondering “what does this mean for me, my family, and my home?”. If the building that you live in has received notification of mandate for a seismic retrofitting there are some very important things that you should know. First and most importantly, there is a mandatory plan in place intended to protect you and your loved ones during the time of construction. The Tenant Habitability Program was created to protect tenants from displacement or unsatisfactory living conditions while their building is undergoing construction.  

The Tenant Habitability Plan or “THP” must be filed before any work is done to the building. This plan should include a description of the estimated impact that the retrofit process will have on tenant’s apartment and any disruption to their personal property. Under this plan, if relocation is required, the owner is required to pay relocation benefits to the building’s current tenants. In addition, the Tenant Habitability Plans includes any sort of estimated disruptions that tenants may experience, such as if water, electrical, or gas services are affected. Your building’s Tenant Habitability Plan will cover all planned disruptions as well as accidental disruptions during the time of construction. Once your building owner provides you with a copy of the THP, it is your decision (as well as the other tenants) if you will choose to appeal it. Once the THP is given to you and your fellow tenants, you have 15 days to appeal it.  

We understand that this time may be stressful for you and your family but you can rest assured knowing that the Los Angeles Housing and Community Investment Department (HCIDLA) is looking out for your interests and well being. Thus far there has not been a lot of push back, as tenants understand that the short term inconvenience of retrofitting will ultimately result in a safer home later. However, for the tenants and their families it is reassuring to know that they are protected under this plan and are a major consideration in the retrofit process.

For more information on the Tenant Habitability Program, visit http://hcidla.lacity.org/Tenant-Habitability-Program

References include:

http://hcidla.lacity.org/Tenant-Habitability-Program

https://www.ladbs.org/docs/default-source/publications/misc-publications/la-soft-story-retrofit-program-tenant-habitability-guide.pdf?sfvrsn=4

 

2 comments on “LA’s Tenant Habitability Plan: What Does It Mean For You (The Tenant)?
  1. Fang Huang says:

    I am a tenant and live in a senior building in West Hollywood. 12/24/16 to 2/2017 Heavy rain water went into my bedroom from a crack (4 fingers wide) under wall resulted from flooding in backyard and from wooden frame of back door entrance (2 entrances in my unit, one in front and one in my bedroom). During looking for source of water invasion, the maintenance man found termite-damages in the wooden frame of back door. Only termite treatment and replacement of bedroom carpet and wood panels because black spots (mold) found in the wood panels under carpet.

    In February, I experienced extremely severe pain in my low back and then quickly extended to whole body with weakness and difficulty in getting up from sitting or bed. I received treatment at ER for it. Because the pain was stopped by scratching to the whole back next day after being discharged, it proved my pain not from injury and should be nerve pain.

    Until to date, no any mold remediation was performed regardless written requests made to management. I was offered to move to other unit in cross building but as soon as entering that unit, a strong odor was smelled in whole unit and vinyl floor in mid-living room was damaged without repair. I refused to accept it because of health concerns.

    In May 2017 I tested the indoor air in my bedroom because of I suffered from severe nosebleed and allergic symptoms. I sent air sample for lab analysis. The 5/25/17 mold report revealed 2 kinds of toxic mold in air sample of bedroom: Penicillium and Epicoccum. Penicillium can cause allergy and Epicoccum can result neurological diseases.

    2 days ago, my neighbor shared with me that other units in the same building also found with termite damages. My unit was not the only with termite damages.

    Outside wall of my unit was also found with cracks (stretched cracks) that I made reported for repair to prevent from rain water going in the wooden structure. The maintenance man told me it required special materials to patch those cracks and he would order online.

    Can termite damages in units and cracks on outside wall cause soft-story symptoms if existing for prolonged period?

    Thank you for your information

    • apetersen says:

      Hi Fang,

      Thank you for reaching out. Unfortunately we cannot answer your question regarding termite damages/the various other concerns but we do urge you to reach out to the West Hollywood Department of Building and Safety. They are responsible for enforcement of certain municipal codes as adopted by the city council.

      This is the link to their website: West Hollywood Department of Building and Safety

      As well as their phone number: (323)-848-6320

      We hope that this information is helpful to you and that your housing issues are resolved.

      Best,

      Penhall Company Seismic Retrofit Team

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