Highland Park rent strikers face eviction


Marmion Royal pictured in July

HIGHLAND PARK — Eviction notices are being issued in a rent strike at the Marmion Royal as the confrontation between tenants and landlord escalates, according to the L.A. Times.

After the new owners began raising rents on renovated units by 50% earlier this year, the tenants said in late June that they planned to withhold rent. They also demanded that the owners — Skya Ventures, a Tarzana investment company — give them leases covered by the city’s rent control ordinance.  Now, the Times says 60-day “no fault” eviction notices have now been handed out to many of the tenants.

Though the city’s Rent Stabilization Ordinance limits the size of annual rent increases,  the law does not cover this property since those protections apply only to multi-unit buildings built before 1978; the Marmion Royal was built in 1987.

According to an earlier story by EGP, most of the tenants are working-class Latinos, and several receive Section 8 housing subsidies.

The Times notes that Highland Park has been swamped by the wave of gentrification that has already deluged Echo Park and Atwater Village, pushing working-class Latinos out of their old neighborhoods.

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  1. What did they expect would happen when they stopped paying rent?

  2. Lawsuits coming soon against owners. You just cant kick us out without a fight

    • WHat are you going to sue on behalf? That you don’t like rent to increase? You want to sue the govt too for taking taxes? I guess you don’t understand how capitalism works.

      • You can sue for anything.

        Almost definitely they will sue for racial discrimination.

        Its nonsense, of course, and they won’t win but I guess tenant advocates want to do it to make some kind of point.

    • If the article is accurate, you are not being “kicked out”. You have the choice to stay, but you will have to pay more in rent to reflect current rates.

      Nearly all renters in LA face the same issue. Why is your situation special? This is not an attempt to be condescending. I just can’t relate to your position and would really like to understand.

      • Here is a little help in relation to understanding. i do not think that the tenants are demanding special treatment, but just an end to the present distorted form of gentrification that relies on vulture investors, and or predatory flippers. This is an example of manic speculation or the search for the quick buck just like the one that heralded the Great Depression; you know the one that was triggered by get rich quick schemes on October 29, 1929. maybe you can not relate to their situation, but history repeats itself. You should ask yourself what if my income from either investing or a job ended ? You certainly could not pay high rent or pay a mortgage for very long, could you. Try to walk in another’s moccasins for a while, and remember” But for the grace of God, go I”The same might happen to you!

    • They actually can. If you don’t pay your car payment your car will get repo’ed. Same thing.

  3. Very sad for the long time tenants. But unfortunately, the new owner has every right to raise the rent. This building is in a prime location, right across the street from the gold line.

    • Sad to have to uproot and move, yes. But it’s no one else’s fault, not the least of the new owner’s, that they are in this predicament. They’ve enjoyed below-market rent for years and years. To save that margin or not was/is their own choice. The chickens have come home to roost.

  4. The building is not covered by rent control so the landlords are within their rights to raise the rent by however much they see fit. There’s nothing illegal happening here. If the tenants wanted low rent forever they should have moved into a rent controlled building. This is a non-story actually: renter stops paying rent and is evicted. Makes sense to me.

  5. I had assumed that since the building does not fall under RSO, the tenants have no legal leverage.

    Yet, the LAT story quotes the tenants’ lawyer:

    “Elena Popp, the tenants’ lawyer, assured them that the earliest they could be summoned to court would be January. If they stuck together, and kept putting their deposits into the trust account, they could win, she said.”

    I understand the tenants can delay. But do they have any legal leverage to win (i.e., to be awarded a long-term lease with limited year-to-year increases)?

    Or is the idea to get a one-time monetary judgement against the landlord for poor treatment?

    • Becky with the good hair

      Attorneys always tell their clients “they will win” it keeps them paying the bill.

      These tenants have no chance of winning anything. The best they’ll get is free rent until the sheriff comes to process the eviction order.

      • Sure, the conflict of interest between the attorney and the tenants is clear. That’s why I asked about the legal basis for a lawsuit.

  6. It feels like the tenants have been misled by their advocates in this situation. They should have negotiated for the highest relocation dollar amount possible and moved on. Instead the NELA Alliance urged them to stay put in the name of staying in their hood. The landlord isn’t going to rewrite the law for the tenants of this building alone. That is just foolish.

    • You are quite right on this many could have walked away with current going rate of first and last months rent and relocation fees which could total to about $10,000. The smart thing would have been to know this was Eliis exempt apartment when they moved in and save for the day that is now at hand.
      Racial discrimination suit will fail miserably because the law regarding this property and the refusal to pay rent see absolutely no racial lines.

  7. If you don’t pay your rent , you get evicted ? How the hell is this news?

  8. These people assumed they were entitled to cheap rent until the end of time, didn’t bother to educate themselves on rent control, and were too ignorant to know they could fight for relocation fees. Instead they’re just having a temper tantrum and are ultimately going to get kicked out of their homes. This is a good lesson in why everyone should educate themselves on basic financial decisions.

  9. We demand sub market rent simply because we are brown If you don’t go along with this idea. You are racist

  10. I suspect that they are just trying to live there rent free for as long as possible and maybe get a little payment once the court date approaches. It was actually pretty common during the real estate crash for owners of foreclosed homes to refuse to leave or even worse, claim they were tenants. It was simply a strategy to either negotiate a higher “cash for keys” payment and/or live rent free for 6-12 months. Either way, the property owner loses and they get to sock away a few extra bucks for their next place.

    The downside to this strategy is if the unlawful detainer (eviction) actually goes to court and they lose (which they will), they will have an eviction on their personal credit record which will make it nearly impossible to secure a new apartment.

  11. Rent control for all or NO RENT CONTROL. It’s a joke.

  12. Exactly why folks concerned about displacement should be advocating for as much new housing development as possible

  13. Tighter rent control for LA all in tenants favor. Fully support them standing their ground- they are being treated inhumanely by sociopaths.

  14. And this is why I would never be a landlord in L.A.

  15. A quote from the LA Times:

    “For Rudy Rosales, a 50% increase would be the same as an eviction notice. A cook who works double shifts in West Hollywood, Rosales lives with his children, ages 3, 5 and 7, in a one-bedroom apartment costing $1,000 a month.”

    Soooooo, hmmmm, he is a cook who works in West Hollywood, has three small children, and can only afford $1000/month in rent? If I were in that situation, I would pack up in a second and move to a more affordable city/state where I could offer MY CHILDREN a better lifestyle and a chance at success. $1,000/month would easily cover the mortgage on a $120,000 home – probably with 3 bedrooms and 2 bathrooms AND it would also lend itself to better schools. And since Rudy Rosales is a cook, I’m sure he could find similar work in just about any city in America. Maybe some of these people are just entitled/selfish, unwilling to relocate to provide a better lifestyle for their family…who knows?

    Here are some examples:




    • Poor life choices. You can be a cook literally anywhere in the country. It’s not like he works in entertainment and is tied to Los Angeles.

      • Poor life choices? Explain his life for us all knowing internet judge.

        • Cramming 3 kids into 1 bedroom apartment and driving an hour away to a job that could be done literally anywhere else in the world. Bad planning.

          • And choosing to work in entertainment, which apparently only leaves chaotically-toxic and soon to be completely ruined Los Angeles as a place to call home. Real bad planning

    • Are you going to let the guy borrow the $25,000 down payment on the house?

  16. Big developers who build these massive, corporate apartment buildings that are not subject to rent control all give money to local politicians like Cedillo so even though Cedillo is supposedly very supportive of rent control ensuring rent is only capped at an increase of 3 percent annually, he allows loads of big developments in his district because it’s cash in his pocket. Reelect Cedillo and you can see a ton more of this. Guess who suffers? Poor tenants and small, mom and pop landlords while developers like Palmer (the Orsini) get richer and richer!

    • Palmer is so disgusting!!!!!!! Greed is rampant. Need updated rent control that applies to ALL residential and business units, not this backwards inhumane buy out BS.

      • Rent control is why we’re in this predicament to begin with. If you want to be less effected by the turmoil of the rental real estate market it’s better to move to montebello or southgate, rather than 5 minutes outside of what rapidly becoming Manhattan Part 2.

    • Finally, a voice of reason!

      The real problem lies with Mayor Garcetti though. He has restructured and ignored existing zoning to open the flood gates to deep pocketed development.

      The neighborhood Integrity initiative can stop this

      • No it can’t… it’ll just accelerate gentrification by making it more difficult to build anything in this city. One way or another, people are going to continue moving to coastal California in droves.

  17. Lawsuits to be announced soon against owners of building LOVE IT!!!!!!!!!!!! Don’t worry my racist friends you can read all about it soon, carry on with your racist rants

    • So the tenants are suing the landlord because the tenants stopped paying rent because the landlord wants to raise rent on a non-rent controlled building and now the landlord is trying to evict the tenants that are not paying rent?

      From an outsiders standpoint, this sounds like a case of a bunch of entitled people trying to force other people to take care of them. What exactly am I missing???

      • Your missing the big picture; time and experience living in a gentrifying neighborhood, and the utter failures of capitalism. That’s what your missing.

        And by the way, the phrase ” a bunch of entitled people” will be reserved for the individuals who will eventually replace the working class families in these challenged units…

        • So making better life decisions so you can afford market rates is now considered “entitled”? Ass backwards. Look up the definition of the word.

        • So in your opinion, renting a place for 20+ years (and all the years of time and experiences) ENTITLES you to below market rent or at least the same rent for 20+ years regardless of inflation and population growth for the rest of your life? Sounds nice…sign me up on that plan!

          • 1.
            The term “entitled” is a perfect description of the new demographic moving into NELA.

            Too late the plan is dead, the building was purchased! ha
            But dont worry though, with more time and experience you will learn what the REAL market rates are in this toxic waistland…

    • Joe , sad trombone……


      I called it, now the evicted tenants have NO relocation fees coming and an eviction on their record, the Alliance should be ashamed for misleading these people into thinking they could just protest the law to not exist. It’s Ellis exempt , end of story.

  18. Stick it to the man!

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