City Attorney Settles with Venice Beach Suites

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1305 Ocean Front Walk. Photo: Sam Catanzaro.

By Staff Writer

City Attorney Mike Feuer today announced that his office has secured a settlement with Venice Beach Suites, LLC and its owner, William Layman, to resolve allegations that each illegally advertised and operated a rent-stabilized apartment building located at 1305 South Ocean Front Walk as a hotel.

“My office will do everything we can to protect L.A.’s scarce stock of affordable housing,” said Feuer.

The settlement requires Venice Beach Suites, LLC and William Layman to pay $200,000 in civil penalties, to offer all 25 units that are not occupied by long-term tenants at 2012 market rates, and to desist from operating or advertising units at 1305 South Ocean Front Walk for short-term rentals. The settlement will ensure that units that were taken off of the rental market will be available at the rates that they could have been rented at if they previously had not been converted to short term use. Pursuant to the City’s Rent Stabilization Ordinance (RSO), rents for all tenants cannot be raised more than a certain percentage annually for tenants residing at this property.

The settlement directly follows the recent adoption of the City’s new Home-Sharing Ordinance, which, among other things, continues to prohibit short-term rentals in properties subject to the RSO throughout the City of Los Angeles.

The settlement also follows a favorable judgment secured last year by the City Attorney in a separate civil case against property owners George Panoussis and the Novap Corporation, who were found to have illegally operated and advertised their rent-stabilized building at 830 North Van Ness Avenue as a hotel. Defendants in that case have appealed the judgment, which the City Attorney’s Office will vigorously defend.

Supervising Deputy City Attorney Christina Tusan and Deputy City Attorneys Will Jay Pirkey, Rebecca Morse, and William Pletcher, all of the Consumer and Workplace Protection Unit, litigated this matter.