L.A. Could Thwart Westside Evictions Under New City Plan to Protect Tenants

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Los Angeles officials are pressing forward with a new strategy that could thwart plans to turn Westside apartments into condominiums, in an effort to protect renters from eviction.

Tenant activists have complained that the Ellis Act has led to tens of thousands of evictions in Los Angeles. The California law allows people to be ejected from rent-stabilized apartments if the landlord is getting out of the rental business, which can include turning the building into condos.

Now L.A. is trying out a new strategy to prevent such evictions. Under the Municipal Code, the city can reject a technical step toward converting a residential building into condos if two conditions are met: that converting apartments would add to a “significant” cumulative effect on the rental market, and the vacancy rate in the area is 5% or less.

Councilman Mike Bonin, who represents much of the Westside, wants the planning department to assess and prepare such findings for a long list of Westside neighborhoods, including the Pacific Palisades, Brentwood, Venice, Mar Vista and Palms. Doing so could thwart building conversions that give rise to Ellis Act evictions.

Read the full story at LATimes.com.

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