DEAR WEHO: Developers might have a terrible new tool to bypass rent control

Dear WeHo,

I wanted to let you know of an upcoming hearing before the WEHO City Council that may change the increases allowed for rent-controlled apartments here in West Hollywood.

To give you a quick rundown, I’m a tenant in West Hollywood. Our 8-unit building has been placed in receivership by the city. The new owner was a law firm that brought the building up to standard and put it on the market in 2019.

A real estate developer, Taylor Medgal, had bought the building at auction as is. In the past year, this developer and former lawyer has applied for a 60% rent increase under the NOI order.

A court examiner listened to a circus of misinformation and false testimony, ruled in his favor by raising rents by around 40% over the next two years. The tenants appealed to the city council and they voted to dismiss the hearing.

After 2 more hearings, one of which the owner did not show up, but the city granted him a postponement even though he was against the hearing procedure, the second resulted in a decision to increase rents by about 57%.

The tenants have appealed and we are now awaiting the date to appear before the West Hollywood City Council.

If they uphold the Examiner’s decision, it will prioritize allowing developers to buy rent-controlled buildings, submit inflated spreadsheets and fabricated documents to raise rent to the maximum allowed 60%.

This hearing will be a major development in how landlords can manipulate the system, use a loophole in the NOI order and circumvent permitted rent increases for rent-controlled housing.

With the upcoming elections, this may be of interest to your readers.

Feel free to contact me for more details.

Thank you for your time.

Lorraine P.

Resident of West Hollywood LP

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