Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Landlord Agrees To Pay $6K+ In Fines, Restitution, Etc., Gets 36 Months Probation To Settle Allegations Of Tenant Harassment, Rent Overcharge In 5-Unit West Hollywood Apartment Building Regulated By Local Rent Stabilization Law

In West Hollywood, California, WEHOville.com reports:
  • Cheri Woods, the notorious landlord of a building where rocker Jim Morrison once lived, has pleaded no contest to a lawsuit by the City of West Hollywood alleging that she charged one of her tenants more than the legally allowable rent.

    In accepting her plea, L.A. Superior Court Judge Jane Godfrey ordered Woods to pay a fine of $500 plus $500 in additional court fees and pay restitution of $5,185 to one of her tenants, who the city alleged was charged more rent than legally allowed. Woods will be placed on probation for 36 months. If Woods had been convicted of violating the city’s rent laws, she would have faced up to six months in prison and a fine of as much as $1,000.

    West Hollywood filed a lawsuit against Woods in May, alleging that she harassed tenants of the five-unit building “in a manner that was likely to create a hostile living environment or to cause a reasonable tenant similarly situated to vacate the rental housing unit.” The city also alleged that Woods overcharged [a tenant] and failed to reregister a vacant apartment unit. All the units in Woods’ building are covering by the city’s rent stabilization law, which governs the amount a rent can be increased annually. As part of the settlement, the city dropped the harassment charges.
    ***
    Woods used the state’s Ellis Act to evict tenants from four of the five apartment units. Her daughter currently lives in one of the units.

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