Residence Type: 
3 or 4 units
Landlord Type: 
Private Landlord -- Rent Control

In January of 2012 my partner and I entered into a residential lease agreement to rent a bungalow style cottage in a quickly gentrifying section of Hollywood, known by it's residents as "East Hollywood" in an attempt to associate the neighborhood with the quality and conditions found in it's neighbor to the west, West Hollywood. Unfortunately, after signing the lease the numerous repairs and rehab issues which were on-going and promised to be completed before move in were suddenly stopped without notice. Then the landlord demanded a 50/50 arrangement from us for payment to complete the repairs and rehab. After reluctantly agreeing, it still took a full 45 additional days to get a refrigerator installed, and the electrical wiring completed for installation of outside security lighting. The incomplete repair of the 1/2 completed roof was left incomplete, and the gardening and landscaping necessary to finish the rehab left undone as well. At that point, we discovered that the owner was actually in foreclosure, and had been for quite some time. More disturbing, the property had been set for public auction in a matter of days from when we discovered the foreclosure was pending. However, the owner had also filed for bankruptcy protection, effectively putting a moratorium on any further foreclosure activity until the BK was discharged. But imagine our surprise when we discovered the owner was actually intentionally allowing the property and repairs to go incomplete and unfinished in an effort to push the assessed value of the land down so he could get a better deal on his BK reorganization and refinancing. And even more surprising, we discovered he'd been approached by a developer who wanted to redevelop the unsubdivided property into a multi-family apartment complex, and was willing to pay exceedingly well for it. Which is why the owner began attempting to force falsified police reports citing drug activity (also a way to get the value lowered quickly and hence make more profit) and allowing the continued decay of the property for months at a time. Add to these disturbing events the fact that at one point representatives from the LA Fire Departments Arson and Counter Terrorism Unit showed up at our door with 6 uniformed officers to notify us that the owner was suspected of attempting to burn down the property (this notice a few days after a small fire was suspiciously set in our front yard) as a "back up plan" to collect insurance proceeds. It seemed the developer was willing to pay more for the undeveloped land (meaning the houses needed to go...burned down specifically) than if the houses were still there. Then suddenly those appliances the owner previously refused to install started to curiously malfunction, with the now defunct and banned "in floor" furnace used to heat the unit being "red tagged" by the gas company as "potentially explosive...may cause loss of life" followed by the stove being cited as dangerous because it would periodically ignite on its own. Add to these dangers the exposed live electrical wiring the owner had his contractor leave throughout the property, and the recalled dishwasher (GE cited the fact that the dishwasher had been known to malfunction, causing...drum roll or explosions that had resulted in destruction of property) And throughout the entire process, the LAPD and appropriate city agencies had refused every single attempt (34 requests in a 12 month period) for any form of relief, investigation, or assistance. It required me intentionally playing into the owners hands at the very end, and having myself forcibly arrested in order to get an actual investigation commenced by the LAPD and it's Internal Affairs unit. And now, to add insult to injury, the LAPD is refusing to do anything with regard to the criminal behavior of the landlord (who threatened to have myself and my partner killed, and our bodies disposed of where they couldn't be found) and had used his friends and fake social network profiles to have us stalked for over 12 months. Now I'm left trying to find a civil attorney that will take this case, while also fighting the internal LAPD bureaucracy in an effort to have the criminal matters appropriately addressed and the landlord charged as such.

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