The owner of the Sovereign hotel and apartments on Washington Avenue has agreed to pay $24,000 in rent rebates to tenants who complained of lack of heating and hot water.
The rebates will be paid in the form of monthly rent credits over six months, according to the settlement filed Monday in Superior Court. Owner Jett Mora also agreed to pay $17,000 in court costs and civil penalties. The settlement was negotiated by the city attorney's office on behalf of the tenants.
The settlement also requires Mora to address complaints that he skirted rent control laws by charging hotel rates for short-term tenants. Such tenants were paying up to $3,600 a month, compared to a maximum of about $500 permitted under Santa Monica's rent control standards, said Jeffrey Holtzman, consumer affairs attorney for the city attorney's office.
Tenants in December complained to city officials that they had gone without heat and hot water for several weeks after a boiler broke down over Christmas.