Tenants of the Burlington Apartment buildings in the Westlake District went to court against their landlords on Thursday as several of the tenants protested rent hikes and the conditions at their apartment building.

The tenants say the landlord charges for repairs and has raised rents considerably in their building.

Residents of the buildings say there are water leaks, mold on the ceilings, rodents and roaches.

“There’s little holes behind the cabinet. That’s where the roaches come out,” tenant Michelle Garcia said. “I try to keep my kitchen clean.”

Residents said the landlord is also raising rents.

“My rent previously was $1,045 and now my rent is $1,345,” tenant Ana Zepeda said. “Every time they want something to be fixed, they are always making some sort of free.”

“This building saw a 10 percent increase and then a 20 percent increase right on top of that and people simply cannot afford it,” Elena Popp from the Eviction Defense Network said.

About 100 residents went to court Thursday. The building is not under rent control, so a number of families went on a rent strike trying to reach an agreement with the building owner.

At the hearing, attorneys for the owner would not give in to their demands, so about 100 cases will now have to go to court.

“They would rather spend half a million dollars,” Trinidad Ruiz from the L.A. Tenants Union said. “That’s what it’s going to cost them to evict close to a 100 tenants.”

Eyewtiness News tried contacting one of the attorneys representing the landlord. A message was left, but so far no one has returned the call.


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