City Hall is suing a landlord who city attorneys say took away the parking space of a tenant with a disability without justification.

The City Attorney’s Consumer Protection Division filed the lawsuit against apartment building owner Solyman Khalili for alleged violations of the new Housing Anti-Discrimination Ordinance and the recently revised Tenant Harassment Ordinance, Deputy City Attorney Gary Rhoades said in a release.

Parvin Farrahi, a tenant at Khalili’s 16th Street property since 1998, was paying $555 per month thanks to Rent Control laws that restrict the increase of rent to market rate, according to the complaint filed by city attorneys.

Khalili offered Farrahi $5,000 to move out but Farrahi declined, the suit alleges.

In August, Khalili pulled Farrahi’s parking spot, so she had to park out on the street, the suit alleges. Farrahi has a disability that requires her to park close to her home, the suit claims.

Khalili is still refusing to give the spot back, the suit says.

The Daily Press was unable to locate Khalili — who, according to the suit, goes by a couple different names — for comment.

“We help tenants and landlords resolve dozens of disability-related cases every year,” Rhoades said in the release. “But in the rare situation where a landlord refuses to make an accommodation that’s reasonable and needed, we will turn to the courts under our new law.”

The law, enacted in November, requires landlords to allow their tenants reasonable accommodations based on the their disabilities.

The suit comes after numerous discussions by the City Council and the Rent Control Board about how to curb rising complaints of tenant harassment. Santa Monica’s Rent Control law prohibits landlords from raising rents to market rate until a tenant has vacated the apartment. As property values rise the incentive for ousting tenants becomes greater for Santa Monica landlords.

City attorneys have acknowledged that they are getting more complaints about tenant harassment but explained that many of the complaints don’t rise to the level of harassment as defined by the law.

Laws were tweaked last year, in theory making it easier for city attorneys to prosecute tenant harassment cases.

Residents who spoke at the meetings claimed that landlords had harassed them with the hopes pushing them out and raising rents.

Others said that landlords are filing bogus unlawful detainer, or eviction, lawsuits, in the hopes that tenants won’t have the cash or wherewithal to fight the claims in court.

Recently, City Hall filed a lawsuit against a landlord, Barbara Bills, claiming that she harassed tenants by staging phony smoke detector inspections and, upon entering the apartment, began filming and photographing their homes.

Bills’ attorney filed a motion to dismiss the case which is still pending.

Last week, a jury denied Bills’ attempt to evict of one of the tenants that City Hall says was harassed. This case is unrelated to the case brought by City Hall, but could impact it, Rhoades told the Daily Press earlier this week.

City Hall cannot defend a tenant in an eviction case but it can sue a landlord for violating tenant harassment laws, as they are attempting to do with Bills and Khalili.

Bills’ attorney Steven Coard, vehemently opposed City Hall’s claims against her, stating that city attorneys are trying to pollute the jury pool by speaking to the press about the lawsuit.

dave@www.smdp.com

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