City Attorney’s Office Obtains $65,000 Judgment and Injunction Against Landlord in Tenant Harassment Case

July 20, 2022 12:28 PM

The Santa Monica City Attorney’s Office Public Rights Division has obtained a stipulated judgment and injunction against a local landlord in a lawsuit where the City alleged the landlord attempted a wrongful eviction against a family in a rent-controlled apartment home. Last April, the City filed a lawsuit alleging that the landlord used fraudulent and coercive tactics to attempt to force a family to leave their home after the tenants asked for repairs and maintenance work. Only after the tenants vacated did the landlord make the requested repairs and remodel the apartment, subsequently listing the unit for a much higher rent.

“Protecting tenants’ rights is a fundamental part of what we do,” said City Attorney Douglas Sloan. “We expect both landlords and tenants to play by the rules, and when landlords abuse their position, the City’s Tenant Harassment Ordinance ensures accountability.”

The lawsuit alleged that the landlord’s misconduct included:

The judgment, signed by the parties and approved by Judge H. Jay Ford, III, includes the following terms and requirements for the defendants Ross Vaisburd, Empresa Real Alta California LLC, 848 18th Street LLC, Rolana Serebryanaya, and Rolana Serebryanaya’s Trust.

In agreeing to the stipulated judgment, the defendants did not admit to any wrongdoing.

The City’s Tenant Harassment Ordinance prohibits a landlord from trying to influence tenants to vacate through fraud, intimidation, or coercion, and from attempting evictions that are untenable under the law and facts of the case. Any questions or complaints should be directed to the Public Rights Division at (310) 458-8336.

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