Since August, my neighbors and I have complained about the conditions in our university-owned apartment building -- gates that don't lock properly, rusting metal, rotting wood on door frames, broken exterior bricks, smelly/dirty carpeting (I got mine replaced), holes in the walls (I bought spackle the day I moved in), broken bike racks, a hedge out front that homeless people were using as a naptime area (we got this removed), not to mention problems with crickets, roaches, waterbugs, mice, and at least one snake (the pest-control issue is being dealt with case-by-case, but something much more comprehensive needs to happen). But we've been collectivizing and reaching out to various people, and later this morning, at last, the big guns are coming in: the Los Angeles Housing Department is inspecting for code violations. What that means is...
Properties that do not meet City and State codes regarding issues of maintenance, use, or habitability are cited with a "Notice to Comply". Property owners are generally given 30 days to have the required repairs completed. A re-inspection is performed to verify that the corrective work was done.
If repairs are not completed within the time period specified on the Notice to Comply, the owner will be summoned to an administrative hearing at the Housing Department to determine the reason for non-compliance and when the required repairs will be completed. If further enforcement steps become necessary, the file may be forwarded to the Office of the City Attorney as a criminal complaint.
The news came in the form of a flyer on my door Tuesday morning, one day after an internal inspection by the university's housing office -- I don't know the overall results of that survey, but the checklist they left behind on my kitchen counter suggests that I've been doing my part to keep things up to whatever their departmental code is. (Basically, my smoke detector works and there aren't any immediate fire hazards or accumulated garbage -- but then, I'm paranoid enough that I take out my trash nearly every day now.)
My fear is that our building will just squeak through the LAHD inspection and our housing people will continue to do the absolute minimum and spend the least money they can until they can get us out of here in May (when our contracts end) and start work on the extensive teardown/renovation/miracle transformation they have planned.