Logo and Link to Consumer Protection Unit Landing Page


 

CITY ATTORNEY SUES SANTA MONICA LANDLORD FOR HARASSING TENANT

 


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 5, 2004
Contact:
 Adam Radinsky, Deputy City Attorney, (310) 458-88327


The City of Santa Monica has filed a civil lawsuit against Lisa Borten, a Santa Monica landlord, accusing her of repeatedly harassing a tenant who questioned the legality of his rent amount.  Borten owns the ten-unit apartment building at 807 Third Street in Santa Monica.

In the suit, filed in Santa Monica Superior Court last Thursday, the City Attorney’s Office claims that Borten falsified legal records with the Rent Control Board to justify raising the tenant’s rent far higher than permitted by law. When the tenant finally questioned Borten about the rent, the suit contends, Borten did the following:

  • Left harassing messages on his voice mail, one of which included personal threats

  • Served him with two different Three-Day Notices to Quit that falsely claimed he was creating a nuisance and damaging the building

  • Filed false complaints against him with the Health and Building Departments

After a hearing and appeal, the Rent Control Board confirmed that Borten’s rent increases were illegal and awarded the tenant nearly $5,000 in back rent.

The city’s suit is brought under the Tenant Harassment Ordinance. The city seeks money damages, punitive damages, an injunction, and attorneys’ fees.

 

# # #

 

 

This page was last updated on 02/28/11.