I am a tenant of the La Terra Dulce Apartments, and I have to point out that there was no effort to get a balanced viewpoint from residents of the building for that article (“City attorney halts tenant harassment investigation,” Dec. 19), leaving us open to the snarky comments on your website as if the sum of the harassment in this building was construction noise bothering wannabe screenwriters or having to pick-up keys.
The construction the new owners are doing will make this very old building much more livable, and I think that is well worth the noise during the day. If I believed they were going to allow the long-term tenants to stay in our rent-controlled homes, I would be delighted.
My issue is harassment. They are changing all the locks on the building and refusing to give out keys that can be copied, as always has been the policy. Plus they are changing the door code on the front door and not giving it out to anyone. No key or door code for my boyfriend, housekeeper or petsitter, no way for them to enter my home when I am gone. They are essentially denying me the right to choose who and when my loved ones or employees may access my own home. Not even FedEx and UPS will be allowed to enter with a key code to deliver here. That is tenant harassment, blocking reasonable entrance to bonded delivery personnel in order to make life difficult.
Another example of harassment? A month ago they ripped out the water pipes to my master bedroom, which I rent to my roommate, in an obvious effort to drive my roommate out. They’ve ignored my many requests to replace them.
My biggest complaint, however, is that the new owners have told us, in the presence of representatives from the City Attorney’s Office and Rent Control, that they plan to enforce the old leases, which means to evict us because we signed leases, most of us many years ago, that the previous owner/managers told us would never be enforced. We were told we could, and were always allowed, to have pets even though the leases say no pets. These new owners can serve us with three-day “perform or quit” notices (which have been filed on people here already) to force us to give up our pets or be evicted.
The previous managers of the building rarely agreed to amend leases to add roommates; they did not care and neither did we. Only now we will each come home one day to a three-day notice to evict our roommates because they are not on the lease, and if they don’t leave the new owners can start eviction proceedings.
The new owners will not allow us to add our roommates to the lease even though they know that the former owner/ manager allowed them and knew them. Just as the new owners refuse to let us add our pets, even though almost everyone here has a pet and they know they are here with the full knowledge and permission of the former owners (oral and implied contracts).
Whomever forces them to take this to court will win and the new owners know it, but how many can afford thousands of dollars in legal fees? When faced with the horrible reality of losing their homes unless they can come up with the money for lawyers, they will take the settlement offered by the new owners to get out. They will have to. And then the new owners will more than double the rents and few will be able to afford to live here.
And we should all fear that.