Landlord Attempts to Illegally Evict Disabled Tenants for the 5th Time
On an unusually rainy Los Angeles day, Jesse Romero (not his real name) was served with an eviction notice – for the fifth time in less than a year. Jesse’s parents had moved into the apartment 27 years ago, shortly after Jesse was born. Both Jesse and his father have serious kidney problems and require dialysis several times a week. When his mother passed away a few years ago, Jesse became his father’s primary caregiver. If evicted, not only would father and son become homeless, their health would be gravely endangered. Jesse came to ICLC for assistance.
Several years ago, Mr. Romero’s previous landlord agreed to accept the family’s rent on the fifth of each month, as required under Federal and California law, because the Romeros’ disability checks arrive after the first of each month. For nearly three decades, without fail, the Romero family upheld their end of the arrangement and paid on time, each and every month.
Last year, a new owner purchased the apartment complex. When Jesse informed the new property manager of the situation, the new property manager agreed that he would also reasonably accommodate and accept rental payment on the fifth. Unfortunately, the new property manager soon went back on his word and tried to evict them five times over eight months.
Although the date of payment is the technical rationale for these eviction filings, the specific date of rent payment is not really the issue. One-third of the eleven units in the building are occupied by new tenants who pay triple what the Romeros pay. The evictions are clearly an attempt to make room for higher paying tenants.
Jesse knows his family is being targeted. He feels frustrated and angry. He and his father have done everything right. They have paid their rent on time, according to the law and their agreement, for 27 years. They have lived peacefully in their home of 27 years and cared for it with pride.
“We don’t know what else to do,” Jesse said. “We’ve tried reasoning with him, explaining our situation, and it just doesn’t seem to get any better. We’re good people and good tenants. The stress this puts on my dad and seeing how it affects his health is really hard to take. This guy just keeps coming after us, no matter what,” Jesse said.
Luckily, Jesse and his father are being represented by ICLC. The most recent eviction notice arrived last month. We didn’t let their landlord illegally push them out the last four times, and we won’t let it happen this time either.