March 1, 2024 Breaking News, Latest News, and Videos

Santa Monica Sues Real Estate Firm for Converting Rent-Controlled Units Into Vacation Rentals

City of Santa Monica files complaint against NMS Properties Corporation 

By Sam Catanzaro

Santa Monica is suing a real estate corporation for converting a rent-controlled apartment building into alleged illegal vacation rentals. 

In a lawsuit filed on September 28, 2021, the Santa Monica Rent Control Board and the City of Santa Monica allege that since 2018 NMS Properties, Inc. and its affiliates have violated and continue to violate the state Ellis Act and local Rent Control regulations, as well as laws intended to protect long-term tenants and preserve the City’s affordable housing stock. The lawsuit alleges that the owners and managers of the residential rental property at 1242 10th Street, including WMNS Communities, LLC and NMS Properties, Inc., unlawfully converted what had once been a rent-controlled 10-unit multi-family residential apartment building with stable, long-term tenants, into a building that is now used for unlawful vacation rentals and other unlawful rental activity.

The complaint alleges that in 2015 the defendant owners bought the properties at 1238 and 1242 10th Street and started renovations with the purpose of upgrading the units for future market rate rentals, with modern kitchen appliances, in-unit washer/dryers, smart technologies and more. In addition, the The complaint claims that the dangerous conditions created by the extensive construction drove many tenants out of the building. 

The lawsuit further alleges that when the last three tenants at 1242 10th Street refused to leave or be bought-out, the owners invoked the Ellis Act as a mechanism to remove them from their rent-controlled units but did not leave the residential rental business as required. 

“The purpose of the Ellis Act is to allow landlords, who intend to get out of the rental business, to evict tenants who would otherwise have a right to remain in their homes. It is not designed as a means of evading rent control by driving out long-term tenants in order to command higher, market rental rates,” said Alison Regan, General Counsel for the Santa Monica Rent Control Board.

The complaint alleges that after invoking the Ellis Act, the owners placed ads on sites such as apartments.com, westsiderentals.com, and mysuite.com, which advertised the units as fully furnished and available for rent. According to a Rent Control Board investigator who visited the property in December 2018, a month after the units were considered withdrawn from the rental market, the units had been “recently renovated and staged for occupancy.”

“The Board and City allege that the owners and managers engaged in additional unlawful acts to conceal the unauthorized and unpermitted rental activity, including lying to City staff, submitting false and misleading applications to the City, and using the units to host unpermitted and illegal short-term rental activity.  The City, on behalf of the People of State of California, has further alleged that the defendants engaged in unlawful, fraudulent, and deceptive acts and practices in violation of the state’s Unfair Competition Law. The plaintiffs are seeking a wide range of remedies, including monetary and injunctive relief,” the City said in a press release announcing the lawsuit. 

NMS Properties could not immediately be reached for comment regarding the lawsuit.

Related Posts

Construction Alert: Topanga Canyon Boulevard Faces Nightly Closures Starting March 4

March 1, 2024

March 1, 2024

Caltrans Announces 18-Mile Project Spanning Chatsworth to PCH Commuters in the Los Angeles area should prepare for significant delays as...

Film Review: Nyad

February 29, 2024

February 29, 2024

FILM REVIEWNYADRated PG-13121 MinutesReleased November 3rdOscar Nominations: Best Leading Actress, Best Supporting Actress “I failed many times, but I can...

Security Officers Being Deployed at Big Blue Bus Stations and Routes

February 29, 2024

February 29, 2024

The Guards will be provided by a firm with other security contracts with the city of Santa Monica  By Zach...

Leap Day Brings Once-in-Four-Year Deals at Popular Restaurants All Day Long

February 28, 2024

February 28, 2024

Krispy Kreme, Dunkin’, and More Roll Out Special Offers to Mark the Occasion Leap Day, that rare additional day occurring...

Sweet Lady Jane’s Social Media Tease Continues As Locations Sport Hiring Notices

February 28, 2024

February 28, 2024

Mysterious Posts Leave Fans Eager for the Return, But Questions Linger By Dolores Quintana After resurfacing on social media, the...

Upcoming Ice Cream Shop on Montana Ave. Will Serve Multitude of Vegan Flavors

February 28, 2024

February 28, 2024

The Company Has Come a Long Way Since Its Humble Beginnings as a New York City Food Truck By Zach...

(Video) Pro-Palestine Protest at the Beverly Wilshire Hotel

February 28, 2024

February 28, 2024

Protesters were there to protest the arrival of U.S. Representative Nancy Pelosi Counter-protesters drove by in a car. @smmirrornews Pro-Palestine...

(Video) Restaurants Replace Glass Front Doors After Late Night Robbery Spree in Del Ray

February 28, 2024

February 28, 2024

Seven restaurants and small businesses in Del Rey and Venice, including Nick the Greek and Dudley Market, were robbed. Council...

SMMUSD Appoints New Asst. Superintendent of Education Services

February 27, 2024

February 27, 2024

Dr. Williamson Will Assume Her Role on March 8, Bringing 17 Years of Education Experience In a special board meeting...

Hollywood Royalty to Shine at 96th Oscars: First Wave of Star-Studded Presenter Lineup Unveiled

February 27, 2024

February 27, 2024

Incredible Lineup of Actors and Previous Oscar Winners Announced Executive producer and showrunner Raj Kapoor, along with executive producers Molly...

Vote Smart, Vote Early: Streamlining Your 2024 Presidential Primary Experience in L.A. County

February 27, 2024

February 27, 2024

Skip the Lines and Save Time – Your Guide to Early Voting Options  In preparation for the upcoming 2024 Presidential...

Iconic Venice Beach Sculpture and Landmark to be Removed, Returned to Artist’s Property

February 27, 2024

February 27, 2024

Since the Money, Effort or Desire to Purchase the Piece Appears to Not Be There, the Artist Wants It Back...

(Video) Heartfelt candlelight vigils in Westchester and West Hollywood for Nex Benedict

February 27, 2024

February 27, 2024

The non-binary 16 year old student with Choctaw ancestry died in Owasso, Oklahoma after being beaten by three older high...

Sweet Lady Jane Sparks Hope of Return – Popular Bakery Hints at Reopening Across LA

February 27, 2024

February 27, 2024

After Abrupt Closures, Beloved Bakery Hints at a Comeback, Leaving Fans Intrigued  Sweet Lady Jane, a Los Angeles cake bakery...

Waymo’s LA Expansion Hits Roadblock: CPUC Temporarily Halts Self-Driving Company’s Plans

February 26, 2024

February 26, 2024

California Public Utilities Commission suspends Waymo’s service expansion for 120 days. California’s Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) has put a temporary...