One of the region’s most prolific apartment builders has sued the city of Los Angeles over its COVID-19 eviction moratorium, saying his companies have experienced “astronomical” financial losses and are legally entitled to compensation from the city.
GHP Management Corp., which is owned by real estate developer Geoffrey Palmer, said in its lawsuit that 12 buildings that it manages have experienced more than $20 million in lost rental income as a result of the measure. GHP, which filed the lawsuit along with several other Palmer companies, expects that number to triple by the time the provisions of the moratorium have expired.
The city enacted its temporary eviction limits in March 2020, just as COVID-19 was triggering the shutdown of businesses and throwing people out of work, barring building owners from forcing out tenants who could show their inability to pay was caused by the pandemic.
Palmer’s companies allege that the moratorium — first put in place by Mayor Eric Garcetti as an emergency order, then approved as an ordinance by the City Council — violated the “takings clause” established in the 5th Amendment, which says private property shall not be taken for public use without “just compensation.”
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