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Santa Ana : Landlord Ordered to Follow Hook-Up Rules

A Superior Court commissioner Friday enjoined the landlord of a new apartment complex in Santa Ana from renting out the units until electricity and gas can be properly turned on.

Commissioner Thomas J. Keenan also ordered the landlord, John C. Lockhart of Newport Beach, owner of the apartments at 1601 W. Civic Center Drive, to relocate 17 tenants who have been living at the 24-unit complex since last week.

Because the units were not completely finished when Lockhart began allowing tenants to move in, electricity was being furnished by extension plugged into a nearby power pole outlet.

City officials on Thursday asked Southern California Edison Co. to turn off the power pole’s electricity because the extension cords posed a hazard.

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Assistant City Atty. Tom Ong, who represented the city in court Friday, said the tenants can move back into the apartments once Lockhart safely hooks up electricity and gas lines and obtains a certificate of occupancy from the city.

“He is restrained from using the property until the certificate of occupancy is obtained. He must make the apartments habitable for human beings before they can move back in,” Ong said.


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