SAN LUIS OBISPO — A lawsuit was filed against the owners and manager of a Paso Robles apartment complex, claiming they knowingly allowed tenants to live in slum conditions.
San Luis Obispo Legal Assistance Foundation and the Hutkin Law Firm filed the class action lawsuit on Tuesday, May 7, against the owners and manager of Grand View Apartments in Paso Robles.
The Grand View Apartments, LLC is owned by Santa Barbara County residents Ebrahim and Fahimeh Madadi, according to the complaint.
The 35-page lawsuit alleges that tenants lived in uninhabitable, vermin-infested conditions for years in the apartment complex at 202 Spring St., on the corner of Spring Street and Niblick Road in south Paso Robles.
“For at least the past four years, the property has been insect and vermin-infested, with rampant bed bug, cockroach and rat problems throughout the units,” the lawsuit states. “The property also has a severe mold problem and dangerous gas and electric lines that render the premises uninhabitable.”
The tenants claim that the owners refuse to repair the uninhabitable conditions and simultaneously raise the rent every few months.
The lawsuit goes on to say that due to the “ghastly conditions” tenants “suffered a host of physical ailments to various degrees and at various frequencies. Such ailments included, without limitation, frequent episodes of flu-like symptoms, allergies, stomach pains, frequent and severe headaches, rashes, and unknown (and believed to be) insect bites.”
Included in the lawsuit is a rental agreement, and letters from the San Luis Obispo County Health Agency from 2017 and from California Legal Assistance also in 2017.
The letters were sent to the owners and complex managers.
“The letter is to serve as official documentation that cockroach and bed bug infestation has been verified. You are requested to abate the above violations as quickly as possible to minimize the effect on the tenants and surrounding apartments and residents,” stated Chelsea Broucaret, an SLO County Environmental Health Specialist in a letter dated Sept. 11, 2017.
Grand View Apartments has 54 apartment units and is believed to house at least 200 tenants according to the complaint.
An internet search shows the owners are trying to sell the apartment complex for $11.595 million. According to Grand View’s marketing information, the owners are reporting $595,000 net operating income for 2018.
The attorney who filed the complaint on behalf of the tenants, SLOLAF Legal Director Stephanie Barclay, stated, “This was a case we could not turn away. When we met with the tenants, saw the conditions they are living in, heard their stories of how much they have tolerated and how unfairly they have been treated, we had to do something. They pay their rent on time and they just want to live somewhere safe where they can sleep at night.”
SLOLAF is co-counseling with the Hutkin Law Firm on this class action lawsuit.
“We hope the lawsuit will result in creating safe and livable conditions for the tenants as soon as possible,” Barclay said.