• Name: Ilse Rosenstein
• Occupation: Retired teacher
• Neighborhood in which you live: Mid-City
• Own or rent: Not provided
• Marital status/kids: Two daughters
• Obama or Romney: Obama
• Education: Where did you attend and what degrees do you have? B.B.A. from CCNY at the City University of New York; teaching credential, Mount St. Mary’s; bilingual certificate, USC
• Why are you running for the Rent Control Board and what would you like to accomplish if elected?
Rent control helps to maintain diversity in our city and contributes to the stability of the population. I am running to ensure that rent control remains a positive force in our community. By serving on the board, I hope to help enforce the provisions of the rent control law so that tenants can continue to live in affordable, well-maintained homes and landlords can receive a fair return on their investment.
• What is your definition of a “fair return” for landlords and do you believe the current formula for calculating annual rent increases or adjustments provides a fair return?
The current formula provides a fair return, as shown by its correlation with the CPI. The new formula proposed on the ballot as Charter Amendment GA also correlates with the CPI. However, the results will be determined more easily under the new formula, so that there will be substantial savings in staff time.
• Should the annual rent adjustment or increase be based on real costs (such as registration fees, bonds, parcel taxes) and the Consumer Price Index or on a percentage of CPI as has been proposed by the current board?
Both methods produce similar results. The board chose the simpler, clearer method.
Tennis, bridge, classes at Emeritus College, volunteer work as a reading tutor and delivering Meals on Wheels.
• Should rent control be based on a person’s income instead of length of tenancy? If so, do you think that will ever happen or is rent control pretty much set in stone?
Income is not a component of the rent control law. I believe a means test is not desirable. It might lead to additional problems for landlords.
• As more apartments are rented at market rate, is the board’s role being diminished?
Although tenants are paying market rate rents, they still have the protection of the rent control regulations against unjust evictions and ensuring proper maintenance of their unit.
• What is your plan to trim the Rent Control Board’s budget? The board recently approved a budget that is over $360,000 in the red.
If Charter Amendment GA passes, it will not be necessary to calculate the various slices of the pie. Over the years, the pie method produced results similar to the CPI. Therefore, there will be considerable savings in staff time. In addition, staff is being reduced through retirement and consolidation of positions.
• What is a fair amount landlords should be able to ask for when collecting a security deposit?
California law limits the amount to two months rent for unfurnished apartments and to three months rent for furnished apartments.
• What are you reading?
“Interpreter of Maladies,” short stories by Jhumpa Lahiri.
“La Vida Breve,” by Juan Carlos Onetti.
• There are stories of wealthy people holding onto their rent-controlled apartments in Santa Monica so they can use them as summer houses when they actually live in another city or state. How often should a person be sleeping at their rent-controlled apartment to maintain it? Should these tenants be evicted?
Regulation 3304 allows landlords to petition the board for a determination that the tenant is a “tenant not in occupancy.” If the evidence supports this, the landlord may increase the rent to market rate and the tenant may choose to move out.
• If you could ride the Ferris wheel on the Santa Monica Pier with three people in history, who would they be and what would you want to talk about?
Thomas Jefferson; concepts of the role of government and the role of religion. Abraham Lincoln; relations with members of his cabinet and with the generals during the war. Eleanor Roosevelt; her role as confidante and adviser to her husband and her independent activities in areas she considered important.
• The Rent Control Board must give its approval for the owner of the Village Trailer Park to close up shop and build a mixed-use housing development. Will you vote in favor of closure or not?
My vote depends on the plans submitted to the board.