Former LA tenants to Airbnb: give us back our homes

  • Advocacy group's suit says tenants were bounced to enable Airbnb to swoop in.
  • One couple had lived in the formerly rent controlled building since 1992, paying $1600 per month.
  • The plaintiffs want unspecified relief, and their homes back.

Future-Proof: Navigate Threats, Seize Opportunities at ICNY 2018 | Jan 22-26 at the Marriott Marquis, Times Square, New York

A first-of-its-kind lawsuit filed last month in Los Angeles pits four ousted tenants of three formerly rent-controlled apartments against their former landlady and Airbnb. The suit not only seeks to reverse their allegedly illegal ouster, but to highlight what the plaintiffs say are the predatory practices of short-term rental companies. The owner of a small apartment building in the Fairfax area of Los Angeles decided to sell the four-unit building and gave the tenants eviction notices in late 2013, saying that the landlord wanted to get out of the rental business. They had until April 2014 to move. The building’s tenants, two of whom had lived in their unit since 1992, were paying rents that they could not find elsewhere in LA, forcing them, their complaint alleged, to find less desirable accommodations in a less desirable part of the city. The longest-term tenants were paying $1,600 per month for their two-bedroom unit. In May of 2014, the tenants found their form...