Los Angeles/ Real Estate & Development
AI Assisted Icon
Published on June 14, 2024
Los Angeles Judge Blocks Barrington Plaza Mass Evictions, Tenants Celebrate Legal VictorySource: DocFreeman24, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

In a defining moment for Los Angeles tenants' rights, a Superior Court judge has tentatively ruled to block the mass eviction of tenants at the Barrington Plaza apartment complex in West Los Angeles. NBC Los Angeles reports the rally of the tenants, supported by the Coalition for Economic Survival, culminated in the judge's decision just one year after the day the Barrington Plaza Tenants Association filed its landmark complaint.

A landmark in its own right, Judge H. Jay Ford's tentative ruling recognized that the property owners Douglas Emmett Inc. and Barrington Pacific LLC did not demonstrate an intent to "go out of business," as per the Ellis Act, but aimed to temporarily displace tenants for a remodeling project predicted to span 3 to 5 years. The move promises to keep the remaining renters of the rent-controlled complex rooted in their homes. The Coalition for Economic Survival celebrated, with the executive director Larry Gross claiming in a statement obtained by NBC Los Angeles, "This victory shows when tenants unite and organize they can win."

The complex, built in 1961 and having weathered significant fires over the years, was under scrutiny for necessary fire safety improvements. One of the renovations was rendered supposedly urgent following a fatal 2020 fire that left eight floors red-tagged. In a twist of investment and asset management, the renovations, as argued by the owners' attorneys during the trial, as per ABC7, would inevitably result in the almost total reconstruction of the building's interiors, intended to align with modern safety standards.