Dozens of tenants of an apartment building in Pasadena gathered this week to protest and hold a news conference about Caltech’s possible eviction.

“Caltech’s Ruthless Equation: Eviction of Seniors and Families,” read one tenant’s banner.

The tenant lives in a 21-unit building at 400 South Mentor Avenue, a few blocks west of the university campus, and received an eviction notice in early June, According to the Southern California News GroupShortly after the school purchased the building, it aimed to expand student housing capacity.

The notice said the school wanted residents in the building to vacate by early September to allow construction work to take place. In response, tenants began organizing and later submitted a petition to the school principal. School officials then said they would be “good neighbors” with residents and promised to hold discussions.

“We want to ensure a smooth transition for all involved and welcome the opportunity to work together to make this possible,” a university representative said in a statement.

However, the tenants want a formal commitment to rescind the eviction notices that forced them to move out by the end of September.

The Pasadena dispute comes weeks after tenants in West Los Angeles renewed their lawsuit over the evictions of Douglas Emmett’s Barrington Place, which the company said required the eviction of hundreds of tenants living in affordable housing, To install a new sprinkler system.

The evictions at Caltech also follow, as the Pasadena Rental Housing Commission, a new regulatory agency, is about to be formed after voters approved a measure authorizing rent control and commission formation.

Evictions related to rent arrears by tenants are also likely to increase after years of COVID-era protections recently ended. At the end of January, the city of Los Angeles’ broad moratorium on evictions expired, allowing landlords to start suing again against tenants struggling financially because of the pandemic, even as the city also passed new permanent tenant protections.

Los Angeles County’s broad moratorium expired on April 1, ending one of the last remaining pandemic-era eviction laws in the country.

trevor bach

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