By The Hollywood Local of the LA Tenants Union
Billy Ruvelson is a landlord that likes to collect watches. He also likes to collect unnecessary fees against tenants and harass them. Which is exactly why the tenants of the newly forming East Hollywood Local of the Los Angeles Tenants Union are pushing back this weekend. The tenants will be showing up to Billy’s West Hollywood Condo to make a series of demands. Most importantly: the demand for Billy to come to the property the tenants have called home for years and tour the place that he has let fall into disrepair.
Billy Ruvelson purchased multiple properties in East Hollywood under RPM management in 2006. Things were fine for a long time after that, but recently Billy has hired out some employees who think the majority LatinX tenants are okay to be bullied and pushed around. And what has Billy done about it? Nothing. The employees have charged tenants late fees when they pay their rent on the first, sent them back due bills for erroneous charges, threatened eviction while moving employees into illegal units, and thrown a pregnant woman and her 12-year-old daughter out onto the streets. Billy and his staff have set up cameras to spy on the tenants while refusing to address the real security concerns on the property. When tenants notified Billy and Co. about the continued break-in of the laundry room, Billy and his staff just blamed the tenants.
The tenants have to deal with the fleas, bed bugs, and roaches in the laundry room while the employees and Billy blamed them for not installing a proper lock. He even sent them photos of a broken gate with the arm missing claiming the tenants were just propping the gate open. All of this, while Billy is spending thousands of dollars on watches as written up here by Los Angeles magazine. Tenants had to live without hot water while Billy the Bully was dropping exorbitant amounts of money on timepieces.
So now Billy the Bully’s time is up, and the tenants are taking a stand. Their demands include being treated in a professional working manner, fixing code violations, hiring competent employees, returning overcharged money, and securing the property. Billy the Bully said he had no problems meeting with the tenants directly, and then just came up with excuse after excuse. The last written exchange Billy sent to the tenants stated “You may not like how I run my business but you need to respect it. I will not be meeting you, but will be happy to send someone from my staff.” This also included a veiled threat to have family members of the tenant leadership evicted from the property, even though they lawfully live there. No one has the right to demand that someone respect them while breaking the law and causing this kind of harm to tenants. Unless you are a bully.
So please join the tenants this coming Saturday in West Hollywood. We will be meeting at 9:30 in the morning to deliver the demands to Billy’s home. The Los Angeles Tenants Union East Hollywood and Hollywood locals want to make sure that all of Billy’s neighbors know exactly what kind of a person Billy is and how he treats working class people of color. The same working class people who go into posh neighborhoods like his to clean houses, manicure lawns, and raise other people’s children. Apparently, they are good enough for that, but once they go back home after a long day of work Billy doesn’t think they deserve basic respect or working smoke detectors.
Details of the event can be found here: https://www.facebook.com/events/291697311517852/