Taylor Equities’ purchase of a 36-unit building was followed by renter complaints of harassment and disruptive construction. Then came the eviction notices.
A local dispute over evictions highlights the emergence of a tenants movement that is pushing back against rapacious landlords and a nationwide housing affordability crisis.
Renters across the country are having an increasingly difficult time keeping a roof over their heads, with Californians who search for affordable housing finding the task a particularly challenging one.
“It’s raining! It’s pouring! Evictions are soaring!” chanted the small but defiant crowd on the corner of Vermont and Franklin avenues in Los Angeles’ gentrifying Los Feliz neighborhood. Holding signs reading, “Honk if your rent is too high” and “Where will you go when you can’t afford your neighborhood?” the demonstrators had come to protest the Ellis Act eviction of the residents of 1655-65 Rodney Drive from their 12 rent-stabilized apartments.
Enacted in 1985, the Ellis Act provides a way for landlords to get out of the rental business other than selling their properties. Under this law, a landlord can evict an entire property’s residents with 120 days’ notice for most tenants, or a full year’s notice for senior citizens and disabled tenants. If the landlord tries to re-rent the apartment within five years,