BEVERLY HILLS—Property Owner and Physician Stephen T. Copen was arrested Monday, September 7 by the UC Sheriff’s Department after evicting a tenant from his property located 611 Gayley Avenue near UCLA.
According to reports Copen has been booked and charged with misdemeanor vandalism for throwing his tenant’s personal property out of the apartment being rented. Reports also indicate that Copen allegedly created $2k in damages.
According to the City of Los Angeles’s eviction moratorium, the eviction was illegal; there was no court order on file.
As of August 31, the tenant’s lease agreement was due to expire at midnight and the tenant was in the process of moving out of the double room unit. During the afternoon, Stephen T. Copen and Naghmeh Makhani, his spouse and business partner, arrived at the location and found that the tenant’s personal property was on the premises.
Police from the University of California received a call from Copen regarding the tenant still living on the property. Copen was informed that the lease was valid until it expired. Copen was caught on video by the tenant and witnesses throwing the tenant’s belongings out of the unit.
The eviction of Copen’s tenant from the 611 Gayley property has brought attention to that property. Copen built 611 Gayley as a fraternity house adjacent to UCLA. The building is not affiliated with the university. The Gayley Building houses fraternity-affiliated and non-fraternity residents in double, triple, and quadruple units, which are rented on separate leases.
Photos of the property’s interior and exterior that was shared with Renters Alliance show that the inside of the units is divided rooms and study rooms.
Tenants in the neighborhood alleged that Copen has not met agreement of a long list of conditions regarding, sanitation, maintenance, and landscaping.
According to the University of California police, the charge is malicious mischief and vandalism pursuant to Penal Code Title 14 §594(a)(2).
Stephen T. Copen owns at least eight properties in Beverly Hills, including the below addresses:
133 S. Reeves (133–135), 152 S. Reeves, 156 S. Reeves (9417–9429 Charleville), 200 S. Reeves, 201 S. Reeves (9428 Charleville & 9430 Charleville).
136 S. Roxbury, 458 S. Roxbury (458–460 1/2), and 341 S. Doheny.