This is a Recording

Ah, The City. Who doesn’t love dealing with The City?

This week’s episode revolves around the Housing Department’s Systematic Code Enforcement Program and Rent Stabilization Ordinance.

Because our house has a legal studio apartment in the basement, we have to pay $52 a year to the city and be inspected from time to time. Well, unless we file for an exemption because we occupy our own house and our unit. Except they ALWAYS IGNORE MY EXEMPTION REQUEST! For six years I’ve been filing this stupid exemption request and for six years I get delinquent notices. Sometimes I ignore them and sometimes I refile and sometimes I just give up and pay the damn thing (with the late fees).


So the delinquent notice came and this time I wanted to take care of it once and for all. So I called. Yesterday I called, and called and called. All I got was a voicemail system that said “stay on the line” (unless you want Spanish) and then the phone would ring and after ten or twelve rings a recording would say, “Due to unexpectedly high call volume we cannot process your call. Please try later.” Then it hangs up. I tried all day long. How unexpected was the call volume if they have a recording for it?

Today was better. No ringing and ringing and hanging up on me. After 14 minutes on hold listening to Chuck Mangione, I finally got Ying on the line and her advice was to just file another exemption request and ignore the delinquent notice. Okay … I’m just stating for the record, that’s what she told me to do.

I want to get off this crazy roller-coaster known as having a legal rental unit, but it seems that I can’t! Once you’re in the system, you can’t get out without visiting the city offices and filing for it and having the unit inspected! Why do they need to inspect the unit if I’m taking it OFF the market? I didn’t have to have the house inspected by the city in order to buy it and move in!

So, expect another entry in a few weeks about my visit to their lovely Mid-Wilshire offices …

3 thoughts on “This is a Recording”

  1. Oh, I’ll be very interested in hearing how that meeting goes. I may hire you to take my units off the rental market since I absorb them as my tenants vacate. Have you dealt with the U.S. Postal Service yet?

  2. Yes! How do you get the USPS to stop delivering to an address that no one lives at anymore? They just keep stuffing junk mail into that mailbox even after all the phone calls and the little note that they placed in there that says it’s not an occupied unit …grrr!

  3. I had the exact same problem. The Duplex I own—I live in both sections. My solution to the city’s gouging was to send a letter and then everytime I get a notice, I send a new certified letter with the old letters and the old notices. I was soon mailing inch thick manilla envelopes and threatening to sue the city for the hassle and postage.

    They stopped after four inspector visits and six or so years of hassle.

    And we read the weekly tear jerking stories in the LA Times of slum housing that never seems to get solved. Why bust a slum lord when you can hammer on a middle class, working, tax paying citizen.

    Gotta love progresssives.

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