A Superior Court judge has lifted a temporary restraining order that had blocked the city of West Hollywood from collecting $900,000 from landlords by doubling a fee used to fund its Rent Stabilizaton program.
Saying that he was not convinced that the $48-a-year fee increase, approved by the City Council last month, would prevent landlords from obtaining a fair economic return on their investment, Santa Monica Superior Court Judge Irving Shimer last week ruled against a landlord group in lifting the order.
A lawyer for West Hollywood Concerned Citizens, which represents about 1,000 landlords citywide, argued that the city violated its own Municipal Code in approving the fee. The landlords contended that by making them bear the entire increase, the ordinance infringed on their rights to a fair rate of return on their investment, a basic principle of state rent control law.
The group's president, Grafton Tanquary, said the group will appeal the decision.