A Bell Gardens landlord has been charged with 153 counts of health and building code violations--the most since city officials began a crackdown two years ago on owners of substandard rental property.
The Los Angeles County Health Department and city officials filed a misdemeanor complaint against Ben Hoktiontjoa, who owns four Bell Gardens apartment buildings, city prosecutor Cary S. Reisman said.
One building, at 5818 Clara St., was a house converted into four apartment units without the required permits, according to Reisman, who said that complaints against each of the properties include leaky plumbing, broken windows and screens, and rat-infested rooms.
Hoktiontjoa also owns property at 5803 Fostoria St., 6015-15 1/2 Muller St. and 5836 Gotham St.
Hoktiontjoa is to be arraigned Oct. 16 in Huntington Park Municipal Court. If convicted on all counts, he could get a maximum of 76 1/2 years in prison, Reisman said.
"This is a continuing effort on the part of the city's property maintenance program," Reisman said. "It starts with a letter to the landlord and an offer of a rehabilitation loan. If the landlord doesn't respond, the case is referred to the city attorney for criminal prosecution."