A battle is brewing in Barrington Square, where Douglas Emmet is evicting residents from nearly 600 apartments in the largest eviction in Los Angeles.

REITs based in Santa Monica Tenants in 577 occupied rent-controlled units being evicted Installation of fire sprinklers at 11740 Wilshire Boulevard in Sawtelle, The Los Angeles Times reported.

The tenants were evicted under the Ellis Act, a state law that allows landlords to evict tenants from rent-regulated apartments when their buildings are taken off the rental market. A total of 712 units will be affected when the relocation is complete.

But some residents, many of whom had given four months’ notice to leave the 61-year-old complex, said they would fight to stay. Others who are at least 62 years old or disabled have up to a year to leave.

Tenants will receive relocation expenses in accordance with city guidelines, including up to $9,200 for tenants who have lived in less than three years. Residents who are elderly or disabled may receive assistance in excess of $22,000.

Douglas Emmett said the move was necessary to install sprinklers and other safety equipment at a complex with a history of dangerous fires.

According to the landlord, the complex will return to the rental market once the upgrades are complete. No completion date has been set. There is no provision stating that renters can move back to their former home.

barrington square sees two Life-threatening fires in the past nine years, including a fatal one. Eight floors of one of the buildings remain vacant.

Some tenants are already packing up while facing big rent increases and, ironically, their own evictions that could drive prices up even further.

Goral and others argue that the company applied the law improperly and that it could make security upgrades without permanently replacing them.

“At a time when we’re dealing with homelessness across the city and county, this company suddenly putting nearly 600 people on the housing market to compete for housing is a major problem,” said Miki Goral, a librarian at UCLA. . “That’s not a sensible thing to do.”

Eric Rose, a spokesman for Douglas Emmett, said the city made it conditional on approval to install sprinklers and other safety equipment in the three towers at Barrington Place when the company submitted plans to rebuild the damaged floors .

These changes cannot be accomplished without freeing up three towers At the same time, Rose said, because the building systems are shared between them, “structural changes, including changes to the ceiling and walls, were required to bear the weight of the sprinkler system.”

He said the apartments could eventually return to the rental market under regulations set by the city. Ross said there are no plans to build new apartments on the site.

This month, Barrington tenant Sergei Maidaniuk filed a lawsuit against Douglas Emmett alleging breach of contract and private nuisance Alleged neglect of fire safety issues.

— Dana Bartholomew

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