Earthquake Retrofitting for “Soft-Story” Apartment Buildings

dingbatOn Friday, the Los Angeles City Council unanimously passed mandatory new earthquake retrofitting requirements for over 15,000 buildings whose second floors are built over carports. This includes the “dingbat” in which I currently reside. The good news is: this will save dozens of lives in the next major earthquake. I’m sure you can also guess the bad news: landlords have to pay for it.

The city is discussing some ways to help landlords, like a small increase in rent, which may cover the capital outlay in twenty years. But the retrofitting needs to be completed within 7 years of being noticed, according to the law. The LA Times reports that the retrofitting for wood structures can cost between $60,000 to over $130,000. You can read the LA Times article here.

What does this mean for you? If you don’t have $100,000 cash to retrofit, you may be forced to sell your property if the city doesn’t come up with a better solution. If you do have the cash, that’s a big blow to your savings.dingbat

If you think you may need to sell your property, the best move would be not to wait. Sell your building to a buyer with the capital to make the necessary safety improvements now, or else a much worse disaster could be on our hands. Not to mention incredibly low interest rates mean the highest prices paid for income property in a long time.


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