The Los Angeles city attorney's office has filed 34 criminal complaints against the owners of a Hollywood apartment complex, charging them with keeping the buildings in slumlike conditions.
The defendants also face a civil lawsuit in Los Angeles Superior Court on behalf of 10 families who live at the buildings on North Whitley Avenue.
The suit, filed by Bet Tzedek Legal Services and a private law firm, asks the owners to fix the building to make it livable, and to pay damages for having to tolerate substandard conditions.
Named in the complaint are Beverly Hills residents Houshang Berjis, his wife, Mahnaz Rezvanipour Berjis, and Westwood residents Kamran Rezvanipour and Tony Mehrdad Rezvanipour, along with a trust in the name of the Berjises, all of whom are listed as owners or managers of the 40-unit residential complex, according to Deputy City Atty. Tina Hess.
The Berjises and an attorney for Kamran Rezvanipour did not return calls seeking comment. The charges are scheduled for a hearing on March 27. Efforts to locate the other defendants were unavailing.
The complex consists of two apartment buildings and four duplexes. It was cited by the Department of Building and Safety and the Los Angeles County Department of Health Services for a number of problems, including failure to provide heat to individual units, broken windows, pest infestations, defective plumbing, faulty electrical fixtures and deteriorated and unsafe floors, walls and ceilings.
"The owners of the building have been ordered by the city, off and on for many years, to make the repairs. The latest was in June, 1994, and the owners have just ignored the order," Bet Tzedek attorney Lauren Saunders said.
The building complex came under investigation by the Falcon Narcotics Abatement Unit after the site was identified as a problem in the Hollywood area, Hess said.
Falcon is a multi-agency task force consisting of the Los Angeles city attorney's office, LAPD narcotics enforcement officers and the city's Department of Building and Safety.