A letter about an abusive landlord.

Dear Ms. Newell,

I am writing today to report further harassment at 667 Brooks Ave., in effect ignoring the “anti-harassment ordinance letter” that was sent a few weeks ago. While the landlords are being mandated to finally repair things in our house, they are using this opportunity to personally enter the premises. Every single time the repairmen come into the house, and while the gentlemen are working, the landlords lurk about our rooms, take videos, and snap hundreds of pictures of everything we own, in each room. They stay in the house as if I’m not even present, and pretend as if it is their right to circle the entirety of our home over + over, staying as long as they like. When I asked them to stop filming and taking photographs, they said that they “had to for the housing department”. Clearly a lie. I have told the male owner of the property, the husband, several times, that I am entirely uncomfortable with him being present, as he has been extremely angry at times, and screamed in my face several times about how he is the owner and he can do whatever he wants. He has physically intimidated me from coming into the gate of the property, and when we are alone, he stares at me without speaking, glaring. He asks my husband how things are going on a regular basis, like things are ok between them.

I am well aware that your Anti-Harassment letter has no teeth whatsoever, but I am really curious as to what consequences these people are ever going to face for being allowed to harass us during this entire process. We have been living in the house while they have done the “repair work”, that is beyond parody how shoddy it is. She has steadfastly refused to offer alternative housing or to prorate the rent, while we live in a semi-construction site. Because the department has been fighting amongst itself about whether this work is requiring a permit or not, we have been sleeping in the bedroom where they are rebuilding a wall that they had to tear down because of mold.

We are presently waiting to hear from our eviction analyst, Evan Smoller, yet again, this time as to whether we will receive the year extension for the Ellis Act that they are now employing to be rid of us. Even though we’ve already been deemed protected tenants through my partner’s Type1 Diabetes and his massive-impact accident 3 years ago, we have had to jump through several hoops- including sharing medical files and very personal anecdotes on how we are affected by his conditions. I feel so incredibly let down by the city of Los Angeles, and I truly wonder how this is not just another aspect of the harassment that we have suffered by these people coming here from Singapore to own a piece of America, and extract every dollar from it. Our rent protections were, in the end, easily destroyed & thrown in the trash, just like the folks in LA who aren’t able to pay more than $5k / mo. on housing.

I’d ask why the LAHD doesn’t enlist the City Attorney’s office to stop these types of criminal behaviors from running rampant, but I suspect there’s zero chance of even an answer on that front. What a absolute disgrace this has been to witness, and I feel shame for having believed that LA was a real progressive city, upon arriving in 1999. Now I look in horror, knowing there are 10’s of thousands of people facing a massive eviction wave, for the benefit only of the ultra-wealthy. Good luck with your future, my former beloved city!! No more artists, playwrights, creators, dreamers—i.e. CULTURE.

MB Boissonnault

Categories: Housing