Renter Evictions Continue in So Pas

Residents Larry Estrada (from left), Evelyn Allen and Steven Allen stand outside their apartment complex at 635 Prospect Ave. on Oct. 10 after receiving 60-day termination notices in September without a stated cause. Photo by Skye Hannah

Evictions of apartment renters are continuing in South Pasadena, as more residents are receiving 60-day notices from their complexes, the Review has learned.

At 635 Prospect Ave. this past week, there were an estimated four more eviction notices sent out, in addition to the previously reported “mass eviction” of around 10 units there in September, according to tenant Evelyn Allen.

“The timing of this round is even more brutal, forcing residents out between Thanksgiving and Christmas,” said Allen.

The complex was sold for $11 million in September by 635 Prospect SP, LLC, a California limited liability company, to California limited liability companies Allen Apartments Investors, LLC, and Oakland Apartments Investors, LLC, according to a copy of the corrective grant deed acquired by the Review.

Anchor Pacifica Group, which manages the building, sent out the eviction notices. Anchor Pacifica did not respond to a request for comment.

Of five other South Pasadena apartment complexes sold within the past five months (334 Pasadena Ave.; 332 Pasadena Ave.; 603 Mound Ave.; 1681 Amberwood Dr.; and 1777 Grevelia St.), at least four residents at 334 Pasadena Ave. and one resident at 1777 Grevelia St. have reported evictions as well this week, according to neighbors.

The complex at 334 Pasadena Ave. was sold for $1.9 million on Oct. 1 by North LLC to Kenneth P. Zuckerman and Jonathan D. Wong, according to sales comparables data for the 635 Prospect Ave. sale. The new owners’ addresses were not immediately available.

According to neighbors, evictions were handed out at 334 the next day to some residents without a stated cause. The new property management company is PEAK, and the deal was brokered by Torrance-based Buckingham Investments, Inc., records show.

The 635 Prospect Ave. tenants had previously expressed concerns that the terminations, which were also served without a stated cause, are the landlord’s response to Gov. Gavin Newsom signing Assembly Bill 1482 into law this month. The law provides statewide renter protection measures and goes into effect Jan. 1, 2020.

Under the new law, most yearly rent increases over the next 10 years will be held to 5 percent plus inflation, and tenants will be entitled to receive protections against being evicted without cause. The law prohibits landlords from evicting tenants who have lived in their units for a year without proof of lease violations.

Currently, landlords are allowed to raise rent by more than 5 percent. Starting Jan. 1, they will be required to reduce the rent to a rate that stood on March 15 this year, plus the increased allowed.

As reported by the L.A. Times, “just cause” eviction protections will not be subject to any rollback provisions. Tenant groups have expressed concerns that landlords “will exploit that gap in the law to remove residents who pay below-market rent before the law takes effect in January.”