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Hit With $1,000 Rent Hike, Highland Park Residents Are Going on Strike

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The new owners to want to renovate

News about the Los Angeles rental market is usually pretty painful these days, and many renters feel like they have little recourse to fight back. But residents of one Highland Park apartment building who say they were recently hit with a $1,000 rent increase are not taking the news sitting down.

KPCC is reporting that 51 tenants of the 60-unit Marmion Royal apartment building in Highland Park plan to go on a rent strike instead of moving out. Apparently the increase is due to the new owners of the building wanting to remodel.

The North East Los Angeles Alliance, a community activist group, has been working to organize tenants into a unified front in their fight against new owners, Skya Ventures and Gelt Inc.

"People just want to stay in their homes," John Urquiza, a community organizer with the alliance told KPCC. Urquiza says he wants the landlords to meet face-to-face with tenants.

Marmion Royal residents say at certain times their water and power have been shutoff. Several satellite dishes have also been removed for the building’s roof, they say, according to KPCC.

News of the strike is coming off the heels of Mayor Eric Garcetti’s announcement of the "Home for Renters" campaign, an outreach program that aims to better inform renters of their tenant rights. That program is helpful for residents who live in buildings under rent control. Marmion Royal is not rent-controlled.