Confidential Six-Figure settlement. Two twenty-something males recently purchased a rent-controlled apartment building in Los Angeles, occupied by primarily elderly and disabled African-American tenants paying rent under $500 per month. The new owners filed and recorded “owner occupier” declarations with the Los Angeles Housing Department, falsely stating that they intended to take possession of three units in the 6-unit building, with family members or a manager.
Instead, the new owners evicted the old tenants and re-let the units to new tenants at higher rents during and while making minor cosmetic repairs to the building. During the litigation, the new owners would also enter into units without prior notice and in one instance confronted a tenant freshly out of the shower.
The firm also succeeded in obtaining a temporary restraining order prohibiting the new owners from entering or harassing the new tenants, and from engaging in offensive practice.
Settlement prior to trial by Hon. James C. Chalfant, settlement judge.