Approximately six years ago I rented an apartment in Los Angeles, in the 90035 zip code area. This apartment has been my home for the past six years. It is a home, not a transient dwelling.
One morning, the owner of the building decided to dislodge me. He sent me an eviction notice. He decided that he wants to make me homeless and demolish the seven-unit building in which I had a home. He wants to build a brand new complex.
The owner of the building took advantage of California Ellis Act, a California State law that allows landlords to evict residential tenants in order to “go out of the rental business.”
So here I am going to be homeless. So are all other tenants in the building; a family who have lived in the building for 25 years; a family with children, a mentally disabled man, and others who made their rented apartment in the building their home for over a decade. It was not just a building, it was, what I called my Los Angeles Kibbutz. We were a family. And a heartless city law broke the family unit, spreading its disgruntled members all over the city. No one wanted to move out, but they had to.
I am a victim. Now I had to look for another apartment to rent and the monthly rent of rental units in the city have gone irrationally sky high. And apartments that are somewhat more “reasonably priced” are scarce and their owners deal with them as slum lords.
For the past six years my one-bedroom apartment was a little oasis, clean, improved and mirroring my character. From there I worked and created a life for myself. The one bedroom apartment I have finally found and have rented is $450.00 per month more expensive, which is now the going market price in the city. They charge high rent and give very little in return. The apartment is neglected and requires much fixing to make it a home. The owner, Pari Kashani, an immigrant from Iran, and her Iranian origin real estate agent troops treat the building as slum property without pride and genuine responsibility for property. That is the norm in Los Angeles.
But it is not only the story of an Iran origin landlord. The Ellis Act state law is not limited to any ethnicity or religion. It is based on the mighty dollar greed and much disregard for compassion and the just treatment of fellow human beings, thus cuts across all lines.
So here I found myself displaced, having needless expense to repair what the owner should have been fixing and does not.
I am angry and so are many people in the city who have found themselves in the very same troublesome situation. And I am defenseless against the Ellis Act decree. I cannot protect myself from the unfair, uncalled for eviction, I cannot stay on in my home. I am Hagar, Sara sent into the wilderness.
From the get-go, the owner of the building’s intention was to purchase the building, which they did seven or eight years, with only one trajectory in mind, to demolish it, build a larger building, with more units and make a quick buck. They hated being landlords.
What makes the political machine pass an Elis Act? Why give an owner of a property the right to purchase a building that consists of apartments for rent and thereafter give him/her the exit tool and with it, make people homeless and bitter?
I am a victim of city ordinance chicanery.