Landlord appears to back off predatory harassment when tenants go to the city and media

Rents are skyrocketing across the country. Los Angeles is blanketed with people who can not find or afford housing. Bringing units up to market rates creates more homelessness, and yet here we are.

When their building was sold, tenants living in a rent-controlled apartments in Los Angeles received offers of cash to move out. However, the amount of money is not nearly enough to allow them to continue living their lives as they have, many for decades, in those apartments. Rent control laws are meant to help Angelenos maintain their homes, communities, and continuity, so naturally, the landlord began improving the building in ways that sure sounded like harassment.

The tenants have gone to the city housing department, which has written several letters to the landlord asking them to comply with the law, and to the LA Times. Hopefully, the sunlight the LA Times has cast on this issue will continue, and tenants get a good resolution, but I fear this story isn't over.

LA Times:

The second offer to Rincon and her neighbors came in February: $55,000. It was more money than she and her husband, who works in a local nursery, could ever save on their own — and still not enough to stay in her neighborhood for long.

Soon after, the owners sent workers to tear apart a storage shed she'd had for years and haul it away, along with a barbecue and many of her plants, saying they were health and safety violations. Rincon saw it as harassment meant to pressure her to go so the landlord could jack up the rent.

Like so many others, she and her family had one shaky foothold keeping them in a rental market that was otherwise soaring out of reach, and they felt that people with more power than them were trying to shake them off of it.

Featured Image: Sean Pavone/