Hundreds of residents in a Sawtelle apartment complex are facing eviction as the building undergoes a costly renovation project.
The Barrington Plaza complex has informed the occupants of its 577 units that they have 120 days to vacate in order to make way for a retrofit that will involve installing fire sprinklers.
The decision comes after a fire in January 2020 that resulted in 18 fatalities and several injuries, as well as a previous fire a decade ago.
The landlord claims that these safety improvements are necessary to comply with city directives.
However, long-term residents are expressing concern and frustration over the short notice and the lack of affordable housing options.
They argue that finding a new apartment within the given timeframe, especially during the expensive summer season, is a daunting task.
Some tenants are shocked by the decision to completely evacuate rather than temporarily relocating them to other properties owned by the landlord until the repairs are completed.
The landlord cites the Ellis Act, which permits the removal of tenants from rent-stabilized apartments if the building is taken off the rental market during renovations, as the basis for the mass eviction.
This eviction is being regarded as one of the largest in Los Angeles since 1959.
The Barrington Plaza CEO has stated that they are committed to making the process as smooth as possible for residents, offering individualized location support and relocation assistance payments ranging from $9,200 to nearly $23,000.
However, some residents are planning to take legal action in response to the eviction, indicating that the battle is far from over.