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Opinion, Santa Monica, Housing

Letter To The Editor: Out Of Options To Avoid Unfair Tenant Eviction

Posted Feb. 9, 2014, 9:30 am

Letter To The Editor

Dear Editor,

My wife and I live in Santa Monica. My wife has been in this apartment for over 20 years, I have been here for six years. On December 23, 2013 we were served with an Ellis eviction giving us 120 days to leave.

I contacted the attorney, Rosario Perry, representing the new landlords informing him that I am disabled and require the one year extension.

Mr. Perry responded by saying I am not a "tenant." The proof of this is a "rent statement" provided by the previous landlord. There are also some other dubious documents -- or lack of -- saying I am not a tenant.

My wife and I have contacted legal aid and every other renters rights organizations we could find, we also had a local attorney send Mr. Perry many documents proving that in actual fact I am a tenant.

Starting around October 2013 the new landlords started making offers to leave and paying $35,000 to do so, of course we considered doing this and we sent Mr. Perry a counter offer requesting a little more money however, the thing we really wanted was the payment to be put in an escarole account because we (and everyone else) have no idea who the new owners are and were afraid of not getting paid.

I have seen times when I was a contractor more then a few times people with considerable financial resources refuse to pay someone knowing full well there was nothing they could do about it. We wanted to make sure we would not be stuck with no place to live waiting for the owners to pay us.

On Feb. 6, 2014 Mr. Perry sent a letter to us stating that "he is always one to negotiate." This is disingenuous to say the least, he never responded to our first offer, indeed he states he doesn't know what we're talking about.

It seems my wife and I have run out of options, needless to say we are running out of time and really need some help. however all we want is to be treated fairly. What I don't understand is how Mr. Perry can say "I'm not a tenant" when we supplied him with ample proof I am. One of the things we sent was a letter from the previous owner stating he knew I was here and gave permission for me to live here.

Again, it's bad enough to loose ones home because speculators have the money to make it so but to have Mr. Perry try and jump through some loop holes is outrageous.

I am sending you this letter in the hope that someone wants to do the right thing.

Joseph Bilek

Santa Monica

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Comments

Feb. 9, 2014, 1:02:24 pm

Truth hurts said...

Well Joseph it sounds like you're using your disability and perhaps you overplayed your hand. Why didn't you take the offer of 35K when you had it? Is it a landlord's responsibility to subsidize your lifestyle? I'm broke so I have to live in a place I can afford. I don't whine about it. Maybe you should take the money and move someplace you can afford.

Feb. 27, 2014, 10:48:35 am

Sandy La Barbera said...

Its not about whining ! To the person who wrote truth hurts! They did the same thing to my mom and her companion of 15 years. she lived in her rent controlled apartment for 30 years and when her landlord died the family sold the building and the new owners served them papers to move. That took a toll on my mother of 76 years of age and her partner ended up in a home for the elderly. It destroys lives! Its called GREED!!!!!

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