Landlord sues L.A. for $100,000,000.

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.

Palmer’s companies allege that the moratorium…violated the “takings clause” established in the 5th Amendment, which says private property shall not be taken for public use without “just compensation.” “While the eviction moratorium ostensibly protects tenants who are unable to pay rent due to circumstances related to the COVID-19 pandemic, it arbitrarily shifts the financial burden onto property owners, many of whom were already suffering financial hardship as a result of the pandemic and have no equivalent remedy at law,”

Tracy Jeanne Rosenthal, a member of the Los Angeles Tenants Union, said “I am not at all convinced that his right to profit by means of passive income should take precedence over the very lives of tenants in Los Angeles whose incomes were severed by the pandemic and by public health orders that directed them to isolate and quarantine.”

Palmer’s companies did not respond to The Times’ inquiries. In their lawsuit against the city, they said the eviction moratorium had led to rent losses of more than $2.7 million at Palmer’s Medici project in downtown Los Angeles; nearly $2.8 million at the Da Vinci, a 526-unit complex along the 101/110 Freeway interchange; and nearly $3.9 million at Summit at Warner Center, an apartment property in Woodland Hills.

Because of the city’s ordinance, lenders have refused to refinance loans on properties managed by GHP, causing additional economic harm, the lawsuit said.

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