Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Federal Lawsuit Being Filed Against City of Los Angeles Over Shady REAP (Rent Escrow Account Program)

As someone who hopes to be the next mayor of Los Angeles, one of my biggest fears is the wave of mulit-million dollar lawsuits that lie in the wings waiting for people to file over the REAP (Rent Escow Account Program) and the way the city is treating landlords.

Here is the first lawsuit to be filed. Perhaps a class-action lawsuit, as well.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Silver Lake N.C. Grievance

I, Carol Knapp, stakeholder by reason of property ownership and residence within the boundaries of the Silver Lake Neighborhood council, am filing a formal grievance against the City of Los Angeles, a municipal corporation, Los Angeles City Council and Mayor, and City Attorney and The Silver Lake Neighborhood Council Board as agents of the aforementioned Los Angeles City Council. Certain members of the SLNC board have consistently violated the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, California law regarding ethics in government (Government Code SEC. 81,000 – Political Reform Act) as well as breached the duties expressed by the stated SLNC mission, purpose, by-laws and ethical responsibilities during their tenure.

First Amendment violations

Whereas, under Article IX of Los Angeles City Charter as amended in 2000, any and all holders of elected positions, paid or unpaid, must "follow all local, state and federal laws", the above noted parties have violated the inalienable "freedom of speech" right of this individual, as guaranteed in Amendment I of the United States Constitution.



by Carol Knapp

The Los Angeles City politicians have been bludgeoning “mom and pop” rental housing providers via the Rent Escrow Account Program (REAP) in order to facilitate the transfer of title from individuals to wealthy, “chosen” developers and other corporate interests. And they’ve been doing it since 1987, when REAP was passed by ordinance.

Here’s how it works: Los Angeles Housing Department, hiding behind the fraudulent banner of “health and safety”, cites owners for alleged “code violations”. If the owner doesn’t immediately comply, or can’t comply because the demands are unreasonable (e.g. “turn this 6-unit building into a 5-unit building”), or doesn’t comply because LAHD has a habit of sending “Orders to Comply” to wrong addresses…LAHD sends a letter to the tenants telling them to pay their rent to the city instead of to the landlord. Often, the city cuts the rent in half before confiscating it.

REAP was initiated back in ’87 to allegedly address “the most severe slum conditions” in rental housing. However, in reality REAP has often been instituted for minor violations and/or because of the city’s refusal to honor the “grandfather clause”, i.e. “rights of existing, non-conforming structures”. The imposition of REAP often ends in the property going into foreclosure, later to be picked up “for a song” by City Hall cronies.

The 2001 City Controllers Audit of REAP concluded that REAP does not work and has not substantially improved housing conditions.

However, attorney Lee J. Grant and his legal assistant, Carol Knapp, are in the process of filing a class action suit in Federal Court under 42 U.S.C. 1983, “deprivation of (civil) rights under color of law” for REAP abuses. We currently have 5 class representatives, including two seniors of 83 and 92 years old.

If you or someone you know has been abused by REAP, call Carol Knapp: (323) 660-2932

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