Los Angeles—City Attorney Mike Feuer announced today that his Office has won an important round in its lawsuit against the operators of the Ellison Apartments in Venice to protect rent stabilized apartments amid L.A.’s housing crisis. Specifically the Court granted the City’s motion for a preliminary injunction which means the owners and operators of the Ellison Apartments – Lance Jay Robbins Paloma Partnership and 7th Street Associates – cannot operate it as a hotel or short term rental business and cannot advertise or use its apartments for such purposes pending trial in the case.
"The Court's ruling is an important step in our fight to protect scarce, rent-stabilized apartments from being unlawfully converted into short-term rentals," said Feuer. "In neighborhoods across L.A., residents are struggling to survive L.A.'s affordable housing crisis. It's imperative to do all we can to preserve, and create, housing that people can actually afford."
The Ellison, a 58-unit building located at 15 Paloma Avenue in Venice, is permitted and zoned for residential apartment uses only and contains rent-stabilized units under the City’s Rent Stabilization Ordinance. However, the City submitted evidence to the Court showing the Defendants—owners/operators Lance Jay Robbins Paloma Partnership and 7th Street Associates—have operated the Ellison as a hotel and for short-term overnight rentals in violation of the City's municipal code. "The Ellison Suites," as it is advertised online, has charged $150 to $300 per night, checked in guests at a hotel-style reception desk and given them key cards for room and building access during their stays. The Defendants initially operated short term rentals in just a few of the units at the Ellison, but have now expanded to a much larger hotel operation. The owners/operators of the Ellison allegedly have pushed out long-term tenants to have more units to rent for short-term stays. The Court found the City's evidence was sufficient to show a probability of success on its claims that the Ellison was operated as a public nuisance and in violation of the City's municipal code.
Read the preliminary injunction here.