Contact: Gary Rhoades, Deputy City Attorney, Consumer Protection Unit
The Santa Monica City Attorney's Office, Legal Aid
Foundation of Los Angeles (LAFLA), and the law firm of Gibson Dunn &
Crutcher LLP have finalized a settlement agreement with the owners and managers
of the AZ Shores, a forty-nine unit apartment building at 1305 2nd
Street in Santa Monica. The agreement resolves harassment and privacy
complaints filed by several tenants from the AZ Shores.
The tenants’ complaints included:
Harassment and discrimination against Section 8 tenants.
Failure to accommodate tenants with disabilities.
Invasion of tenants’ privacy through security cameras.
Unfair guest policies.
Commission to managers who persuaded tenants to vacate.
the agreement, the management company, Wilshire Skyline, Inc., along with the
property owners, agreed to the following:
Fair Housing: Adoption of a written policy
prohibiting discrimination, fair
housing training, recordkeeping, notices to City regarding Section 8 tenants,
and parking restored for disabled tenants.
Tenant Harassment: Adoption of written tenant harassment
policy and training. Enhanced penalties ($2,500 instead of $1,000) for
the owners’ future violations of Santa Monica’s Tenant Harassment law.
Reasonable accommodation procedures for Tenants with
of a written procedure. Access for social workers improved.
Parking spaces for disabled tenants were restored.
Privacy: Adoption of new guest policy
clarifying tenants’ rights to have guests, access for the City to review use of
security cameras, adjustment to the cameras’ line of view to protect privacy,
and adoption of policy on limitations of the uses for the security cameras.
Processing repair requests: Adoption of a
written policy and procedure for tenants who need repairs. The policy
includes forms, improved response times, and contact information in the event
of an emergency.
Unfair business practices: Prohibition of
commissions to employees who persuade tenants to leave, give up their parking
spaces, or have vehicles towed. Enhanced relocation notices giving
tenants more time to seek legal advice.
Bed bug remediation: Adoption of clear instructions and
written offers for tenants regarding remediation, use of contractors registered
with EPA, and notice for tenants with disabilities who may need more help with
moving during remediation.
is a great result for the tenants,” said Deputy City Attorney Gary Rhoades. “It
covers nearly all aspects of their tenancy. And we believe the privacy terms
dealing with security cameras and guests are the first of their kind in the
City and probably the county.”
Attorney’s office, the City’s Housing Division, LAFLA, Gibson Dunn &
Crutcher, and Wilshire Skyline, Inc. spent several months investigating the
complaints and working out the agreement. “To their credit, the owners
and managers began cooperating with us when they learned of the complaints,”
said Rhoades. “And so this agreement reflects a great deal of
collaborative work by all the parties."
owners and manager entered into the agreement as a compromise and without
admitting liability, fault or guilt.
The City Attorney’s Office, along with LAFLA, will continue to
monitor the agreement for a period of ten years.