The city of Santa Monica has been granted an injunction to require a landlord to correct fire, building and health code violations in three 14th Street apartment buildings.
The injunction, granted Nov. 22 by Superior Court Judge Raymond Choate, requires landlord Abraham Feldman to correct the violations and prohibits him from verbally abusing or threatening tenants, entering their apartments without permission and tampering with locks or doors to the units, according to court documents filed by the city attorney's office.
Feldman must meet code specifications, including repairs to exposed electrical wires, leaking gas lines and defective plumbing.
Feldman began correcting the violations three weeks ago after an inspection of the buildings by a city fair housing attorney and housing inspector, an electrical contractor and Feldman's attorney. Tenants reported to the city attorney's office last week that some work had begun, Deputy City Atty. Jeffrey Holtzman said.
Feldman could not be reached for comment.
Failure to correct the code violations would have resulted in criminal prosecution by the city, Holtzman said. "If Mr. Feldman didn't repair the units, there were a lot of stern measures the city was ready to initiate," Holtzman said. "We're at a point where he has agreed to correct the conditions.
"We're really hopeful that Mr. Feldman will do what is required for him to do under the law, because (the tenants) are really living in an unconscionable situation," he said.
The units in the three buildings at 1339-43 14th St. house more than 40 tenants, Holtzman said, adding that Feldman had expanded the buildings from 12 to 23 units. Rents range from $194 to $300 per month, he said.
The city required Feldman to begin repair work by Dec. 27 and have it completed within four to six weeks, the time Feldman's contractor estimated the job would take.
The contractor, Mayo-Broussard Co. of Reseda, told city officials that tenants would not have to move out of the buildings during the work. The city had ordered Feldman to place $40,000 into a trust account to cover relocation expenses of tenants if the work forced them to leave their units. In 1981, a Superior Court judge issued an injunction ordering Feldman not to threaten to harm tenants, make misleading statements about their rights as tenants or turn off their utilities.
The same year, Feldman was cited for contempt of court for violating the injunction, after a tenant of one of the 14th Street buildings accused him of threatening her. He was also convicted of battery after hitting the tenant with a rolled-up newspaper while negotiating a civil matter inside the Santa Monica Court House.