City Attorney Mike Feuer said Tuesday that his office obtained a preliminary injunction against the owners of the Ellison Apartments in Venice to prevent them from operating the residential complex as a hotel or short-term rental.

According to Feuer, the Ellison, a 58-unit building located at 15 Paloma Ave., is permitted and zoned for residential apartment use only and contains units covered under the city’s Rent Stabilization Ordinance.

“The court’s ruling is an important step in our fight to protect scarce, rent-stabilized apartments from being unlawfully converted into short-term rentals,” Feuer said. “Today it’s the Ellison in Venice. Tomorrow it will be a different building in another neighborhood where residents are struggling to survive L.A.’s affordable housing crisis. It’s imperative to do all we can to preserve and create housing that people can actually afford.”

The owners of the Ellison are Lance Jay Robbins Paloma Partnership and 7th Street Associates. Neither could be reached by City News Service for comment.

Feuer said the city submitted evidence to the court showing the owners have operated the Ellison as a hotel and for short-term overnight rentals in violation of the city’s municipal code. “The Ellison Suites,” as it is advertised online, has charged $150 to $300 per night, checked in guests at a hotel-style reception desk and given them key cards for room and building access during their stays, he said.

The owners initially operated short-term rentals in just a few of the units but have now expanded to a much larger hotel operation, Feuer said.

The city attorney added that the Ellison’s owners have pushed out long-term tenants to have more units to rent for short-term stays.

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