The city of Santa Monica and its Rent Control Board have agreed to postpone hearing a city lawsuit challenging the legality of evictions under the state Ellis Act. In return, landlords named in the suit have pledged not to evict their tenants before the suit is heard, the landlords' attorneys said.
The act, which became law July 1, prohibits municipalities from forcing landlords to stay in the residential rental business. But landlords and the city differ as to whether building owners may evict tenants as a means of quitting business. The city's suit challenges the legality of such evictions.
The city is also asking for a preliminary restraining order that would prohibit evictions of about 35 tenants in five buildings owned by Santa Monica landlord Henry Yarmark.
City Atty. Robert M. Myers said Yarmark's attorney has agreed to halt evictions until the suit can be heard in Santa Monica Superior Court on Nov. 7. The hearing had been set for Tuesday.