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