A woman is suing her former landlords, alleging she was driven out of her rent-controlled Santa Monica home in 2018 because of rat infestation and that the owners “added insult to injury” by retaining her security deposit.
Lindsey Martin’s Los Angeles Superior Court lawsuit alleges negligence, breach of warrant, forced eviction and refusal to refund the security deposit.
Representatives for the defendants, Fariba Ashouri and Saleh Shooshani, could not be immediately reached.
“Plaintiff managed to remain at the property for six hellish months until the unremediated rodent infestation drove her from her home,” her suit states.
The suit filed Thursday seeks unspecified damages.
Martin says she agreed to pay $2,700 a month to lease one unit of the rent-controlled fourplex on Arizona Avenue in June 2018. The area around the patio had overgrown foliage indicating that no landscaping took place for years, according to the suit, which says rats living in the foliage “promptly invaded plaintiff’s home.”
Martin later cleared the plant overgrowth at her own expense when her landlords ignored her requests, the suit alleges.
An exterminator who gave a consultation to the property owners said he could remove the pest problem for $2,000, but the landlords instead directed a handyman to lay down traps and poison, the suit says.
“Unsurprisingly, this amateur attempt at extermination proved completely ineffective and rats continued to swarm through the property, devouring plaintiff’s food, chewing on her personal belongings and defacating everywhere,” according to the complaint. “Unable to live in the festering rats nest that the property had become, plaintiff was forced to vacate her home and move elsewhere” in December.
Martin has suffered a loss of property and suffered emotional distress because of the conditions at her former home, and the landlords “added insult to injury” by not returning her security deposit, the suit states.
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