A large real estate management company is suing the City of Los Angeles for $100 million over its eviction moratorium. The plaintiffs are GHP Management Corp., which manages several large complexes in South Los Angeles, as well as other companies owned by developer Geoffrey Palmer.
“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," according to the lawsuit.
The pandemic-era pause on evictions allows landlords to seek relief from the city for rent owed by struggling tenants. But there’s a backlog. At its current pace, the program won't complete the payments it owes to landlords for another 18 months. That has prompted a motion by Councilman Kevin de Leon to speed up the process and shorten the timeline for landlord compensation.
Still, City Attorney Mike Feuer expressed confidence that the city’s eviction moratorium will sustain the legal challenge.
"My office wrote a sound and lawful ordinance protecting vulnerable tenants from becoming homeless during the pandemic," Feuer said in a statement Monday. "We defeated a previous attack on these crucial protections and will vigorously defend the ordinance again."