SM Landlords Placed on Criminal Diversion in Connection with Tenant Harassment Case
The defendants are also required to pay the city $80,000
September 15, 2022
A Superior Court judge has placed four local landlords and property management companies on a 12-month diversion program in connection with misdemeanor criminal charges of tenant harassment, public nuisance and zoning violations at their apartment buildings in Santa Monica, the City Attorney's Office announced this week.
The landlords and property managers – Adam Shekhter, MySuite, LLC., 1238 10th Street, LLC., and 1433 Euclid Street, LLC. – are required to pay $80,000 to the City of Santa Monica for tenant protection enforcement, $20,000 to a former tenant, and $2,000 to a current tenant, as part of the terms of the diversion program, city officials said.
In its complaint, filed earlier this year, the City of Santa Monica alleged the defendants engaged in multiple illegal acts, including "operating an illegal group residential use by renting apartment units bedroom-by-bedroom to tenants on separate leases," the City Attorney said.
The complaint further alleges the defendants created a public nuisance by providing "substandard housing that lacked a kitchen at the 1238 10th Street property." Additionally, the complaint alleges the defendants engaged in tenant harassment by attempting to influence a tenant at 1238 10th Street and a tenant at 1433 Euclid Street to vacate their units "through fraud, intimidation, or coercion," civic officials said.
If the landlords and their property managers successfully comply with the court's order, all charges against them will be dismissed at the end of the diversion period, city officials said. If the defendants fail to comply with the order, the court "is authorized to terminate diversion and resume the criminal proceedings."