Tag Archives: Ellis Act

Ellis Act Evictions in Beverly Grove

NBC recently featured a story about 18 families being evicted under the Ellis Act from their apartments in order for the owner to build an eleven town homes. The story is Beverly Grove Residents Face Eviction.

The Ellis Act is increasingly being used in Los Angeles to make way for new developments. The Ellis Act is used by developers and landlords to demolish existing apartment units in order to develop new condominiums or homes. Under the Los Angeles Rent Stabilization Ordinance, a tenant is allowed to receive relocation assistance after receiving a 90 Day Notice to Quit.

If a tenant is not out after 90 days, a landlord is within his rights to file an unlawful detainer and evict the tenant. However, disabled persons and the elderly are allowed to extend their tenancies for up to one year as long as they provide notice of the extension under the Los Angeles Rent Stabilization and continue to pay rent.

If you have questions regarding the Ellis Act, please contact Attorney Anthony Marinaccio at 818-839-5220.

Q & A Regarding Ellis Act Evictions

89.3 KPCC recently posted a questions and answer article regarding tenant’s rights under the Ellis Act. The article is informative for both landlords and tenants because it outlines what occurs during an eviction under the Ellis Act in the City of Los Angeles. The article is relevant for owners and tenants in units subject to the Los Angeles Rent Stabilization.

I generally find that tenants have few rights to stay or “fight” the eviction under the Ellis Act; however, they would be entitled to certain relocation benefits and time frames to move. These issues are important as evictions under the Ellis Act are becoming more prevalent as landlords purchase properties to develop into condominiums, single family homes, or other non-rental uses.

The KPCC article is Renter FAQ: What to do if you get an eviction notice under the Ellis Act. Please contact Attorney Anthony Marinaccio at 818-839-5220 for more information.

Ellis Act Evictions on the Rise in Los Angeles

KPCC is confirming that evictions under the Ellis Act are on the rise in Los Angeles. The Ellis Act allows landlords to get out of the rental business. It is usually used for condominium conversions and demolishing old units to make new condo units.

In Los Angeles, in addition to the provisions of Government Code Sections 7060-7060.7, the Los Angeles Rent Stabilization Ordinance (“LARSO”) also addresses the process for landlords wanting to evict tenants under the Ellis Act. I have written on the Ellis Act before and the many articles can be found here.

Under the LARSO, tenants are required to get a 120 Day Notice to Vacate, are entitled to relocation, and if they are disabled or elderly can elect to stay in the unit for up to one year. It is important to understand these provisions prior to starting the development process.

KPCC’s article “Ellis Act evictions in L.A. on the rise” provides some of the background on why these evictions are becoming popular and why we may see more in the future as housing prices increase.

How Old Hollywood is Getting Evicted by New Hollywood

The L.A.  Times recently wrote about the eviction of tenants at Villa Carlotta, a Hollywood landmark located on Franklin Avenue. In addition to enforcement of rent due dates and other rental agreement provisions, the last tenants who paid their rent on time and did not breach any rental agreement terms are being evicted through the Ellis Act.

The Ellis Act provides that a landlord can evict tenants in order to remove the rental units out of the rental market. Most of the time the Ellis Act is used for development of new housing or condominium conversions. The L.A. Times article is Changing Neighborhood Engulfs Their Old Hollywood HomeAn eviction through the Ellis Act is a valid reason for an eviction under the Los Angeles Rent Stabilization Ordinance. Although a tenant would be entitled to relocation fees, a landlord has the right to evict a tenant in order to remove the rental housing from the market. 

If you have questions regarding Ellis Act evictions, please contact Anthony at 818-839-5220.

Is a new condo conversion unit still regulated by the Los Angeles Rent Stabilization Ordinance?

In an interesting but limited decision, the California Court of Appeals was required to review whether an apartment building that was converted to condominiums in 2009 but still left the existing tenants in the units still fell within the Los Angeles Rent Stabilization Ordinance (“LARSO”). The Court found that even if a new certificate of occupancy was issued in 2009, the unit still fell within the LARSO because the existing tenants lived in the unit prior to the conversion. Therefore, rent controls still existed.

The decision in Burien, LLC v. Wiley provides some insight into how condominium conversions can still fall within the regulations of rent control.

Here, the landlord had purchased a building that was built in 1972. Because it was built in 1972, the LARSO applied. The LARSO does not apply to units that have a certificate of occupancy issued after 1978. In 2009, the apartment building was converted to condominiums. In 2011, the Landlord served a 60 Day Notice to a tenant living in the newly converted condominiums raising the rent from $1,401 to $3,000 per month. The Los Angeles Housing Department became involved eventually referring the matter to the City Attorney.

Because the units were a “condo conversion,” the Costa-Hawkins Rental Housing Act also applied. The Costa-Hawkins Rental Housing Act exempts converted condominium units from local rent control laws if the certificate of occupancy is issued February 1, 1995. However, Civil Code Section 1954.52 provides some exceptions to this exemption from rent control laws.

The Court found that the State Legislature intended to prevent landlords from converting an apartment building to condos but never selling the units to buyers. This would allow a landlord to treat the building the same as an apartment building although new certificates of occupancy are issued.

Here, although there was a new certificate of occupancy issued in 2009, the original certificate of occupancy was issued in 1972. There was no change of use because the units were always used for residential purposes. Therefore, the Court found that the newly converted condo units were still within the realm of the LARSO.

The LARSO does not just apply to apartment units but can also apply to condominium units within the City of Los Angeles. Condos are still subject to eviction controls and rent registration. Further, tenants living in a unit prior to 1996 would still have rent controls as well. This is an important part of the LARSO if you own condo units in Los Angeles.

It is important to note that there are many exceptions within the LARSO and the Costa-Hawkins Act that may apply to new construction, so this ruling may be limited to a specific fact pattern that was found in Burien, LLC v. Wiley. Please contact Attorney Anthony Marinaccio at 818-839-5220 for more information.

What is the Ellis Act?

The Ellis Act is a California law that allows landlords to get out of the rental business by taking their rental units off the market. The Ellis Act prohibits local governments from requiring a landlord to continue to rent apartment units, although local governments could enact regulations to control how landlords do so. Generally, the Ellis Act is invoked when a rental property will be sold as individual condominiums (condo conversions) or if the rental property will be destroyed and built into a new development.

It is important to note that a landlord who invokes the Ellis Act to evict tenants must do so genuinely. A landlord would be subject to civil liability, including punitive damages, if he attempts to evict low paying tenants under the Ellis Act and then rerent the property.

The City of Los Angeles provides a framework for landlords and developers to invoke the Ellis Act in order to evict tenants. It is a long process that can take longer than one year to complete. Landlords and developers interested in starting an eviction under the Ellis Act must do so as early as possible.

The process begins by filing a Notice of Intent to Withdraw Units from Rental Housing with the Los Angeles Housing Department. Then, a landlord must file with the County Recorder a document summarizing the non-confidential provisions of the Notice of Intent. Within five days of filing the Notice of Intent, a landlord must serve all tenants the Notice of Pending Withdrawal. 

Tenants are entitled a 120 Day Notice from the date the Notice of Intent was filed with the Los Angeles Housing Department. However, senior citizen tenants (age 62+) and disabled tenants are allowed to remain in a unit under the same terms for up to one year.

This summary provides a very brief introduction to the Ellis Act within the City of Los Angeles as the procedures can sometimes be a little more complicated and time consuming.

The City of Los Angeles Housing Department has a bulletin that provides information regarding Ellis Act evictions that can be found here, Procedures for Withdrawing Occupied Units from the Rental Housing Market.

Please contact Attorney Anthony Marinaccio if you have questions regarding an eviction under the Ellis Act or if you are interested in pursuing such an eviction at (818) 839-5220.

Los Angeles Rent Stabilization Ordinance and Ellis Act Evictions

The Los Angeles Times reported a growing trend as the real estate market heats up and construction increases, evictions under California’s Ellis Act. Evictions from rent-controlled units on the rise in L.A provides a glimpse into non-fault evictions where a tenant is simply evicted because the landlord desires to remove the rental unit from the rental market.

California’s Ellis Act (Government Code Section 7060 et seq.) allows a landlord to remove a rental housing unit from the rental market. Although it generally supersedes local rent control laws, the City of Los Angeles provides a process where a landlord evicts a tenant under the Ellis Act. A summary of the information provided by the Los Angeles Housing Department can be found here.

The Ellis Act generally is used by landlords looking to develop a rental property into a condominium complex, single family homes, or condominium conversion. These evictions were less common during the housing crash; however, are becoming a more popular method for development as real estate prices rise. Ellis Act evictions have been very common in San Francisco, and are gaining more traction in Los Angeles. 

Los Angeles landlords who desire to remove their rental units from the rental market in order to develop the property into another use (condominiums, commercial property, etc.) should seek legal counsel before attempting to perform any evictions because the Los Angeles Housing Department provides very strict guidelines to be performed by a landlord prior to filing any unlawful detainer. Evictions under the Ellis Act are generally more complicated than those for non-payment of rent or breaches of a rental agreement, and can be very contested.