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Landlords, City Settle Lawsuit Alleging Tenants Were Illegally Relocated

Bob Kronovetrealty
We Love Property Management Headaches!

Santa Monica

Santa Monica Apartments

Santa Monica College
1900 Pico Boulevard
Santa Monica, CA 90405
(310) 434-4000


Lookout Staff

May 18, 2021 -- The landlords of a five-unit rent control apartment building in Santa Monica have settled a lawsuit filed by the City alleging they relocated two tenants against their will to renovate their unit.

The lawsuit alleges the landlords -- Marshall Reddick Real Estate and Balthazar Investment Group -- engaged in tenant harassment and wrongful eviction at the building at 820 Bay Street.

The City Attorneys office claims the landlords "made two tenants move out of their apartment throughout October 2019 so that the landlord could perform discretionary upgrades, even though the tenants did not want to relocate.

"The discretionary upgrades included replacing the carpet and painting the interior," they said.

The City alleges the landlords "abused their right of entry" under California law and "attempted to wrongfully evict the tenants without just cause."

They also failed to provide legally required relocation benefits, then "raised the rent beyond the amount allowed by State law when the tenants moved back in," officials said.

Under the settlement agreement, the landlords will give the tenants more than $7,500 in rental credits and pay the City $15,000, officials said.

They also must attend a tenant-harassment training program approved by the City.

The landlords and the tenants previously entered into a separate settlement agreement "providing additional compensation to the tenants," officials said.

“In Santa Monica, a landlord cannot force tenants to move out of their homes simply because the landlord wants to perform discretionary work,” said Interim City Attorney George Cardona.

“In this case, the landlords cooperated in the City’s investigation of allegations that they engaged in these types of illegal actions, and we were able to resolve the matter with significant compensation to the tenants.”

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