Evicted from Home of 18 Years!

After months of landlord harassment, Virginia is in the process of being evicted from her home of 18 years.  Her landlord claimed her adult son, who only stays with her occasionally, was an unlawful extra tenant in her apartment. The judge took the landlord's side.

There were seven rent-controlled bungalows at 1333 N Edgemont, a community of working class Latinx residents, many of them seniors. Then a new landlord bought the building. The manager Jeff Byrd went on a campaign of harassment. He refused to cash the tenants' rent and tried to evict them for non-payment. He claimed he needed to fumigate the apartment multiple times a month, forcing the tenants to pack up all of their belongings each time. If they didn't pack their things just right, he claimed they were non-compliant with fumigation, and tried to evict them that way. He knocked on the doors at all hours, offering them buy-out deals. Eventually, the tenants couldn't take it and gave up. Virginia is the last one left. 

The loss of her home of 18 years would be devastating to Virginia: rent control allowed her to afford to stay in LA. But now imagine the precedent this sets for the entire city: landlords can evict any family the day their child turns 18. Rich white flippers can exploit the technicalities of law to steal the homes of working Latinx families.

LATU has a video of Jeff Byrd dancing with joy over long-term residents losing their decades-long homes. Most of the tenants paid $1,200 a month. As he told the court when he sued Virginia for back *market rate* rent, Jeff Byrd plans to re-rent them at $2,800 a month. 

Virginia fought to keep her home and lost. Instead, the LA legal system rewarded her unfeeling property manager. Please consider making a donation for her legal funds to show your solidarity with her fight. The goal of this campaign is the same amount that a buy-out would have been. Let's show Jeff Byrd tenants take care of each other: there are more of us than there are of them.

If you're interested in helping further, please consider joining or making a donation to the L.A. Tenants Union . We can fight for LATU's anti-harassment ordinance, without which harassers like Jeff Byrd just keep winning. San Francisco has a law that protects tenants and their children when they turn 18. We can fight for one in LA. But most of all, we must fight for housing as a human right and for our right to the city where we work and live.


Chrysanthe Oltmann
Los Angeles, CA

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