The Burlington Apartments make up three buildings located at 131, 143, and 171 S. Burlington Avenue in the Westlake neighborhood near downtown Los Angeles. The Burlington Apartments are owned by the Ehrlich family through a family trust and are managed by a professional property management company called FML Management Corp.
In 2017, the management company at Burlington Apartments realized it would have to raise rents to keep up with increasing costs. To make the transition easier for tenants, it broke the necessary increase into two steps. In 2017, rents for existing tenants were increased to $1045 for one-bedroom apartments and $1430 for two bedrooms. In 2018, rents for existing tenants were increased to $1300 for one-bedroom apartments and $1750 for two-bedrooms.
Rents in the Burlington Apartments have been low for many years because they are family-owned, and not run by an investment bank or corporate landlord who would be singularly focused on maximizing returns. Since 2008, residents of the building have received little or no rent increase; but recently, Westlake has faced rapid changes, bringing a greater influx of renters to the area and increasing the price of property maintenance in its wake. In response, the management company reluctantly decided to lawfully increase the rent at the Burlington Apartments to keep up with rising costs. But the management company was conscious of the effect the increases would have on these working families, and so even now, the rate for long-term tenants are $100 to $200 lower than the rate for new tenants.
Tenants were notified of this decision in February and were given appropriate time to make accommodations. Unfortunately, fueled by bad and misleading advice from tenant activists, some residents at the Burlington Apartments began withholding their rent and have refused to pay for several months, leaving the management company with no choice but to seek to remove the non-paying tenants. In response, the activist tenant “union” claiming to represent the tenants’ collective interests have made several false and misleading claims about the condition of the Burlington Apartments. Therefore, the management company acted to clarify the facts.
For information about the Burlington Apartments or the ongoing legal proceedings, and to access the latest public court documents as they pertain to this case, visit our News Page.
For questions, please contact Robert Thaler at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Photo taken from the rooftop of Burlington Apartments courtesy of FML Management Corp.