The Los Angeles City Council Housing Committee asked its staff to develop proposed ordinances that would give the city or other designated entities the first right to purchase apartment buildings that have been cleared of tenants through Ellis Act proceedings.
The committee instructed the city’s Housing and Community Investment Department to proposed measures that would give the city, designated nonprofit organizations and tenants the first right of refusal for Ellis Act properties and potentially other vacated buildings.
The Ellis Act, a state law passed in 1985, allows landlords to evict tenants and withdraw their properties from the rental market. The law has been used to “flip” apartments into condominiums or other projects.
“This sounds like a terrific idea, but I have to admit I don’t understand the nuances and legalities of it,” Councilman Paul Krekorian said.
Los Angeles can’t stop Ellis Act evictions without state action, but the council members said the city can change some of the requirements landlords must meet in order to “Ellis-out” a tenant.
In October, the Housing Committee approved a proposal seeking options to increase relocation payments to tenants displaced by the Ellis Act.
Landlords who use the Ellis Act to evict tenants are required to pay them relocation assistance, but the amount varies depending on a tenant’s length of residency.
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