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Owner of 2 Apartment Units Faces Tenant Harassment Charges


Bob Kronovetrealty
We Love Property Management Headaches!

Santa Monica Convention and Visitors

By Jorge Casuso

April 22, 2019 -- The City Attorneys office last week filed a criminal complaint charging the owner of a two-unit rent-controlled apartment with five counts of tenant harassment.

Miesha Charnae Grant, who owns the two detached units at 1914 18th Street, was charged with operating a business without a license, unlawfully charging rent and five counts of criminal contempt.

She also was charged with one count of vandalizing the tenants' property and one count of battery, according to a release issued by tthe City Attorrneys office on Thursday.

“City prosecutors and enforcement staff will take prompt action when individuals knowingly violate state and local laws and threaten the safety of others,” Chief Deputy City Attorney Yibin Shen said in a statement.

“The City Attorney’s Office is committed to enforcing all applicable laws and ensuring that victims from all income levels and backgrounds can feel safe and secure in their homes and receive equal justice under the law.”

Grant could not be reached for comment.

Unlike previous announcements from the City Attorneys office, the release issued Thursday does not involve a court settlement or ruling, a major landlord or numerous tenants.

According to the Rent Control Board, the two units involved -- which are both two bedrooms -- have been rented since 2016.

One unit was rented on February 1, 2016 and has a current maximum allowable rent of $1,149. The other unit rented on November 1, 2016 and the maximum rent is $1,183.

Shen said that although there are few potential victims involved, it is important to let renters know the City Attorneys office takes tenant harassment seriously.

"It is a low number of victims," Shen said, but "we don't want to leave victims unattended.

"We want to have an opportunity to let other potential victims that we are not aware of know they can come forward."

According to the release, the Santa Monica Police Department and the Code Enforcement Division of the City’s Planning & Community Development Department investigated this case "after receiving numerous complaints from the public."

"The investigation revealed evidence that Grant disobeyed a court order (and) defrauded tenants by posing as a landlord charging rent in violation of a court order," according to the release.

She also "interfered with tenants’ right to quiet use and enjoyment of rental housing units by entering tenants’ units without permission, threatening tenants, vandalizing properties, and battering a tenant."

Following the investigation, the case was referred to the City Attorney’s Office for criminal prosecution.

Grant will be arraigned on May 13.

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