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David Harris
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City of Santa Monica Advocating for Racist, Violent Tenant

Posted Jan 27 2022, 22:14
  1. Does anyone here have experience with declining a Section 8 voucher from a tenant who was already residing on the property? If so, what was the outcome?
  2. - Any recommendations for an attorney who has dealt specifically with the SM City Attorney's Office?

The City of Santa Monica Attorney's Office is bullying my family (as well as other mom-and-pop property owners) into accepting a Section 8 voucher from a terribly problematic current tenant who:

1) Has harassed other tenants to the point that they feel physically endangered and decided to move out of the property

2) Shouted racial slurs at people working on the property and threatened to call immigration enforcement on them

3) Has vandalized the property as well as that of neighbors, including ripping the windshield wipers from an elderly, handicapped neighbor's car

4) Is currently harassing potential buyers of the property, preventing us from being able to sell it / causing monetary damages

Background:

My family has owned and operated a modest multi-family property in Santa Monica for 45+ years. We never experienced any issues with tenants until this person moved in and no other tenants have ever made any complaints. Multiple police reports have been filed against this tenant over the years but because of my family's immigrant mentality of not wanting to rock the boat and get involved in legal matters, only started the eviction procedure once and did not follow through. They felt that Santa Monica was extremely renter-friendly and would rule in favor of any tenant, even when that tenant was terrorizing the owners and their neighbors. The City Attorney has sent me multiple emails demanding immediate responses. I scheduled a call with the Santa Monica Housing Authority simply to learn more about the Section 8 program, and was ambushed by the City Attorney's office when they joined the call that was only supposed to by between myself and one other person. During the call, they repeated their demands that we accept the voucher.


The City is now pushing us to accept the voucher by next week & pay $5000 to cover their attorney's fees (don't we already pax taxes to the city...) and penalties or else go into litigation.

I've learned that the City Attorney's office has successfully pressured multiple other mom-and-pop landlords to accept the Section 8 voucher or face the wrath of the whole city's resources. I've consulted with attorneys who suggested that the City is violating private property rights and the Constitution for forcing people to enter into a rental contract with the government, so there may be state and national implications.

Was wondering if anyone else here was pressured into accepting Section 8 vouchers from current tenants and if so, what the outcome was. 


Would also appreciate any recommendations for attorneys who have successfully represented Santa Monica landlords.


Thanks so much for the priceless knowledge on these forums!

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