PRIMROSE LANE APARTMENT UPDATE
Both the City of Bishop and the Inyo County approved emergency ordinances to keep the remaining residents of Primrose Lane Apartments in their homes.
Or at least that’s what both entities thought.
The latest wrinkle in this story: Primrose resident Nick Bartlett went to Bishop Realty, the property manager, Wednesday to pay his rent. The rent was refused.
According to Bartlett, he had made an attempt to pay the rent on Monday and was told by Jake Rasmussen he was not sure what the apartment owners wanted to do. The following day, the Inyo Supervisors passed its emergency ordinance. Bartlett went back after the ordinances were passed and Rasmussen wouldn’t accept his check.
One of the protections of Assembly Bill 1482, the legislation that would have imposed a maximum 10-percent limit on rent, included a reversal of any rent increases put in place between March 15 and December 31, according to the City of Bishop staff report. The law also prevents landlords from evicting a tenant without “just cause.” “Just cause” for eviction would include non-payment of rent.
The emergency ordinances passed by Bishop and Inyo, put the same protections included in 1482 in place through the end of the year when the state legislation goes into effect.
The local ordinances were not intended to be a form of rent control, simply a mechanism to keep tenants in their homes until the state law went into effect.
An unintended consequence of the legislation happened at Primrose: the notice of rents nearly doubling went out in September, followed a month later by eviction notices, timed to get in under the 1482 wire. The law allows for evictions due to major renovations and renovations had started up at Primrose.