LOS ANGELES—Residents living in an Exposition Boulevard apartment complex near the USC campus are upset over the new landlords’ sudden, unexpected notice of eviction.
Over 70 tenants that live at 1100 Exposition Boulevard are facing eviction. On September 29, seven buildings were purchased by Kim Chung Suk and Kim Hae Jung for $8.5 million. Within two weeks of that purchase, and with no warning, the tenants living in the buildings received 60 to 90-day eviction notices.
NBC Los Angeles reported that eviction letters were posted on residents’ doors. The letters stated that “although no reason is required to terminate a non rent-control month to month tenancy, this notice is given for the reason that the new owner intends in good faith to renovate your unit and the property in which it is located and rent it as student housing.”
The evictions have become a nightmare for residents living there. A resident, Tyronne, was staying at the 1104 building that was being sublet by Wassen El Shaied, who found out he was being evicted at the same time as the other residents. El Shaied threatened his tenants to turn in their rent payments, and violently assailed Tyronne on December 3.
Even though it is close to USC, the Exposition Boulevard complex is not in good condition. Tenants have said that they live with faulty electrical outlets, no heating in some rooms and an insect infestation. Some of the tenants withheld rent payments in protest of the conditions, and asked the landlords to provide repairs.
The complex is within USC’s security perimeter and extremely close to the campus, making it an ideal place for new USC students to stay. The students will pay more than the current residents, with some estimates saying the single-bed apartments alone could go for around $1500 a month after renovations. Many of the current residents, who are mostly African American and Latino, will not be able to afford high rents.
Some of the residents who have nowhere else to go, have remained in their apartments regardless of the notice. A few days before Christmas, 10 Unlawful Detainer Evictions were given out to some of the tenants.
This is not an isolated incident. Similar forced gentrification and evictions have sprouted throughout southern Los Angeles. The same lawyers working with the Exposition Boulevard landlords, are working on a similar case across town. In that case, people living around Mariachi Plaza saw their rents go up by around $800, and have not been able to contact their landlords for months, and are in legal battles with their landlords.
Many of the residents at 1100 Exposition Blvd. have started a GoFundMe account to raise money and are asking the public for support. The GoFundMe can be found here: https://www.gofundme.com/exposition-tenants-legal-fund.