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    HomeNewsBREAKING - Property Owners Sue West Hollywood Over COVID-19 Rent Moratorium

    BREAKING – Property Owners Sue West Hollywood Over COVID-19 Rent Moratorium

    The City of West Hollywood is among several governmental entities facing a lawsuit from property owners across various California cities and counties over the COVID-19 Rent Moratorium. Plaintiffs from cities like West Hollywood, Los Angeles, and Beverly Hills allege unfair treatment amid the COVID-19 pandemic, claiming they’ve been unfairly singled out to bear the economic burdens caused by the pandemic without proper compensation or consideration.

    Among the plaintiffs listed in West Hollywood are Havenhurst Habitats LLC, which owns and operates apartment buildings located at 1253 Havenhurst Drive and 1316 Havenhurst Drive, and Xenon Investment Corp., which owns and operates apartment buildings located at 1031 N. Orange Grove Ave.

    The complaint, filed in federal court on January 16, 2024, argues that government mandates, including eviction moratoria and rent reduction orders, have unlawfully targeted property owners, resulting in significant financial losses. These mandates are claimed to violate their constitutional rights, including those protected by the Fifth and Fourteenth Amendments of the United States Constitution, as well as state laws.

    Specifically, the lawsuit targets government orders that have prohibited landlords from evicting tenants unable to pay rent due to pandemic-related hardships. Plaintiffs argue that these mandates have left them unable to pursue legal remedies or contractual rights, effectively “taking” their properties without compensation.

    “In effect, Plaintiffs’ properties have been unlawfully and illegally ‘taken’ without compensation, just or otherwise,” reads the complaint. “All Plaintiffs have suffered substantial and continuing economic losses and hardships as a direct result of various forms of imbalanced orders, resolutions, ordinances, eviction moratoria (Eviction Moratoria), and related government mandates, hereinafter collectively referred to as ‘the Government Orders.'”

    Furthermore, property owners claim these government orders have disproportionately impacted them, forcing them to absorb economic losses that should have been borne by society at large. They compare this treatment to other industries not subjected to similar mandates, such as grocery stores and gas stations, citing it as evidence of unequal treatment.

    The complaint specifically calls out the City of West Hollywood for five city ordinances issued in the spring of 2020 that allegedly “cut back on the rights of lessors, including the right and ability to evict for nonpayment. These laws are being called unconstitutional, facially and as-applied, and constituted a taking.”

    The lawsuit seeks damages, attorney fees, declaratory relief, and injunctive relief for the alleged violations of their rights. Plaintiffs argue that these government orders have not only caused financial harm but also created confusion and legal risks for landlords attempting to navigate the complex and inconsistent mandates.

    Most affected properties are located in Los Angeles County, with additional properties in Ventura County and San Bernardino County. Plaintiffs argue that these common issues of law and fact justify the lawsuit’s venue in federal court.

    Defendants named in the lawsuit include various government entities responsible for implementing the mandates, although specific individuals or agencies were not mentioned in the initial filing. The lawsuit marks the latest legal challenge to pandemic-related measures affecting landlords and property owners in California.

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    Paulo Murillo
    Paulo Murillohttps://wehotimes.com
    Paulo Murillo is Editor in Chief and Publisher of WEHO TIMES. He brings over 20 years of experience as a columnist, reporter, and photo journalist. Murillo began his professional writing career as the author of “Love Ya, Mean It,” an irreverent and sometimes controversial West Hollywood lifestyle column for FAB! newspaper. His work has appeared in numerous print and online publications, which include the “Hot Topic” column in Frontiers magazine, where he covered breaking news and local events in West Hollywood. He can be reached at [email protected]

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    David
    David
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    18 days ago

    “Without proper compensation” Yeah right. These businessowners got millions in PPP loans and hundreds of thousands of dollars in rental payments, paid directly to landlords. They now want to exacerbate homelessness by evicting tenants so they can jack up rents. Always about greed and hoarding wealth with these predatory fuedal lords.

    Billy Varga
    Billy Varga
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    Reply to  David
    17 days ago

    Not true, many property owners are small mom and pop property who didn’t have the clout to obtain those loans, you had to have connections to get those loans. Many small mom and pop property owners depend on the rents to pay bills and feed their families.

    Josh Kurpies
    Josh Kurpies
    Offline
    18 days ago

    It’d be interesting to hear from someone with more knowledge about the federal Courts, but in the few cases I’ve seen the federal Courts rule on, they seem to be fairly consistent with the State Court rulings in these matters that have been very clear about the city and states’s authority over housing regulations being well within its policing power. It should also be noted that property owners have had access to billions of dollars from the state and federal government throughout COVID-19 pandemic; had access to Millions of dollars through the County of Los Angeles; and have retained their… Read more »

    Natasha
    Natasha
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    19 days ago

    I feel for the tenants who were unable to pay their rent during covid but landlords have mortgages, taxes and other bills to pay. Notice how these cities never suspended the property taxes and other fees that property owners had to pay? If they wanted to help renters the state or city needed to set up a program to help people pay their rent if they lost their jobs due to covid. Putting everything on the landlord is definitely unconstitutional.

    Enough!
    Enough!
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    19 days ago

    Good. They treat landlords like they don’t have bills to pay too.

    David
    David
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    Reply to  Enough!
    18 days ago

    And yet you’ll be first in line whining about homelessness when WeHo residents end up on the streets.

    John Cleese
    John Cleese
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    19 days ago

    This is a court case to watch. Seems likely one of the suits by property owners over the covid rent moratoriums will make it to the US Supreme Court.

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