Paso Robles lawsuit over Grand View Apartments settled
A group of Paso Robles tenants who sued their then landlords for slum conditions in their apartment complex will receive a $ 4 million settlement, their lawyers said.
Tenants of Grand View Apartments – a 54-unit complex on Spring Street – filed a class action lawsuit in San Luis Obispo Superior Court in May 2019, with help from Stephanie Barclay of the San Luis Obispo Legal Assistance Foundation (SLOLAF ) and Allen Hutkin of the Hutkin law firm.
For years, more than 200 tenants in Grand View have experienced bedbug and cockroach infestations, sewer backups, mold and ceiling holes, among other substandard conditions.
Paso Robles code enforcement inspectors visited the resort years before tenants filed their complaints, but the city has failed to ensure that Grand View owners sufficiently resolve the issues or adhere to the codes. California Health and Safety Regulations governing rental housing.
Many Grand View tenants identified as Hispanic or Latino, spoke primarily Spanish or indigenous languages, and worked for low wages in agriculture and hospitality.
They have also struggled to find a place to live in a tight North County housing market, making them particularly vulnerable to abuse from landlords.
Conditions at the Grand View complex were so bad that a judge ruled that tenants did not have to pay rent after filing their complaint.
But Grand View owners ultimately chose to take the apartments off the market rather than make $ 2.5 million worth of repairs, which meant tenants had to move out and find new housing on short notice.
A new owner bought Grand View for $ 7.7 million in June 2020 and completely renovated the resort. New tenants are already occupying the apartments in the complex, now called Vista Robles.
Renters of Grand View apartments can claim settlement funds
Although Grand View’s original tenants were forced out of their homes, Barclay and Hutkin, along with attorney Jude Basile, continued the lawsuit to seek compensation for the former tenants.
A Superior Court judge is expected to approve the $ 4 million settlement at a Dec. 15 hearing, according to a press release from SLOLAF.
Former Grand View tenants will need to submit applications to receive settlement funds, which will be awarded on a formula that takes into account their length of residence from May 2015 to February 2020, the statement said.
Tenants who have suffered the most serious health problems or loss of property due to poor conditions in their apartments can apply for additional funds.
“We cannot repair the damage suffered by the tenants of Grand View Apartments, but we are very happy that they are receiving compensation for their suffering and material loss,” said Barclay. “We hope this matter sends a clear and strong message to other residential property owners that they need to provide clean, safe and livable housing for their tenants.”
Former Grand View tenants can contact the Hutkin Law Firm at 805-544-1500.
Lawyers will meet with former tenants at Paso Robles Downtown City Park, near the Lookout, on Sunday, September 26, from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. to help fill out claim forms.