Judge Rules Against 600 Resident Evictions

June 21, 2024 ·

Old apartment photo by Mike Von via Unsplash

WESTWOOD—On June 17, Superior Court Judge Harry Jay Ford III made a tentative ruling in favor of tenants who reside at, Barrington Plaza Apartments located at, 11740 Wilshire Boulevard. The Judge’s tentative ruling indicates that current owner of the 712 rent controlled property would be in violation of the Ellis Act if he were to follow through with evictions of more than 600 residents.

The civil case was heard at the Santa Monica Courthouse last April Last week, Judge Ford made the following ruling.

“The court concludes [the landlord’s/Douglas Emmett Inc.] intent to temporarily withdraw Barrington Place from the rental market with the present intent to return it to the rental market after the renovations were completed is inconsistent with an intent to go our of the rental business under the Ellis Act.”

According to the San Francisco Tenants Union, “The Ellis Act is a state law which whic says that landlords have the unconditional right to evict tenants to “go out of business.” For an Ellis eviction, the landlord must remove all of the units in the building from the rental market, i.e., the landlord must evict all tenants and not single out one tenant (for example, with low rent) and/or remove just one unit out of several from the rental market. The Ellis Act is included in the just causes for evictions under the Rend Ordinance as Section 37 .09(a)13.

Ellis Act evictions generally are used to change the use of the building. Most Ellis evictions are used to convert rental units to condominiums, using loopholes in the condo law….

The Barrington Plaza Apartments were built in 1963, and renovated in 1988. Douglas Emmett Inc., owns a string of luxury resort-style apartments in southern California. This is one of the few rent-controlled properties, and is reportedly in desperate need of renovations.

The Judges reasoning for blocking Douglas Emmett Inc. from evicting his clients is because the landlord’s intent was to renovate the property and then lease out the apartments again to new clientele at a higher rate.

Douglas Emmett Inc. must complete the renovations without evicting the tenants. This was only a tentative motion. The landlords have the right to appeal the court’s decision.

By Sharon

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