Living La Vida Local

In 2005, the receiver petitioned the court for permission to demolish the unsafe apartment building where Gonzalez and his family still resided. The receiver presented evidence to the court it would cost at least $145,000 to repair the building, which would then be worth about $450,000. However, he produced an appraisal showing if the building is demolished, the vacant lot will be worth $509,000.

If you were the judge would you authorize the receiver to demolish the apartment building to finally end this 15-year nuisance?

The judge said yes!

The receiver's proposed demolition of the building, the judge began, is reasonable to finally end this 15-year saga where the property owner repeatedly refused to bring his property up to minimum safety and sanitary standards.

Rather than attempting to repair the structure, which is in very poor condition, he continued, it is time to put an end to this nuisance.

"Demolition of the structure and sale of the property is a more reasonable course of action under the circumstances," the judge explained. The property receiver is authorized to proceed with demolition of the structure, with costs to be recorded as a lien against the property title, the judge ruled.

Based on the 2006 California Court of Appeal decision in City of Santa Monica v. Gonzalez, 45 Cal.Rptr.3d 84.

Copyright 2006 Inman News

Dear Jodi,
I used to live in Santa Monica and loved the house at 401 Ocean Ave. I was searching for information on it and found your wonderful landmark site  with its pictures and history. I tried to copy an image of the house, but it was too small. I would be very grateful if I could get images via email from you that I could enlarge, or snapshots. These would be for my personal enjoyment, not for publication or use on the Internet. I would be happy to pay any expense involved. I live in San Pedro now and am retired.
With Many thanks
 Jeanette Gabriel
Art Historian
Former Curator LACMA

Sent: Friday, September 15, 2006 12:54 PM
Subject: Sharing feedback

Selling warehouse in Long Beach. Loma Ave. Over 22,000 square feet



I just received one of your mass-marketing e-mails about Southern California real estate.  I was looking through your website and found the Santa Monica Landmarks website.  I lived in the Penthouse Apartments at
101 Ocean Avenue from 1965 to 1971 and often walked our dog up Adelaide Drive.  What a trip to see -- and recognize -- all those lovely old houses again on your website!

By the way, we moved to Ocean Avenue before they built those horrendous towers between Adelaide and San Vicente.  There was a big vacant lot at the corner of Adelaide and Ocean Avenue, and this funky, two-story, U-shaped apartment building called, I believe, Moon Manor at the other end of the block that was probably built in the 20's or 30's.

I'll never live in Santa Monica again, but it's nice to know that some of its charm still exists.

Thanks for the pictures,

Bainbridge Island, WA 98110

Once you can accept the universe as matter expanding into nothing that is something, wearing stripes with plaid comes easy. -- A. Einstein


 The Census Bureau reported that 37 million Americans were living below the poverty line last year -- about 12.6% of the population. That's down from 12.7% in 2004, but census officials said the change was statistically insignificant. The median household income was $46,300, a slight increase from 2004.
Last year was the first year the poverty rate hadn't increased since before President Bush took office.


Q: I was recently given a lease to sign that seems outdated. What should a lease include these days in order to protect a tenant?

A: Leases, also known as rental agreements, are the vital link between your rights as a tenant and proof of rental circumstances, advises Helene Lesel of Inman News .

What should a modern lease include? Besides listing the exact mailing address of the unit, the start and end date of the lease should be specified. Some leases even specify what time of day the lease terminates, which saves you from being charged for an extra day if you depart by the listed time.

Be sure the lease spells out the exact rental amount for the unit and when it is due. Some leases provide a grace period, such as three days, before a late fee kicks in. Be careful, since some leases require the rent be paid exactly on the first of the month, or penalties can result.

Move-in costs should be detailed, too. If rent is pro-rated, the lease should indicate the amount. Be sure the amount of payment received by the landlord is detailed, along with the type of funds used, such as check, cash or money order. A money order or check is a safer bet for tenants to use at move-in, and a copy should be made before handing it over for payment.

Security deposit. The most contentious matter between landlord and tenant, deposit amount and usage should be explained in detail. State law usually limits deposit amounts, normally as a multiple of the actual rent. For example, in California, the deposit cannot exceed two months rent for unfurnished premises, or three months if the unit is furnished.

Some states have distinct laws regarding the use of security deposits, including how, when and where the deposit is to be applied. Under no circumstances can a lease contain information or requirements that are against the law. For example, if the lease requires leaving a non-refundable deposit, state law invalidates that clause.

What's included and cost of replacement should be detailed in the lease. A security building may require a remote control for garage entry, plus a security key and/or for entry to the building. If the lease doesn't specify the number of remotes issued, and replacement cost, there could be a problem when they claim you were given three remotes--at $40 each for loss.

While sneaking a pet in may seem like a harmless act, some leases stipulate that no animal or pet can be kept "on or about the premises without landlord's prior written consent." Some leases are silent on the subject, bringing trouble if a landlord says pets aren't allowed. Instead of growling at each other, be sure pets are mentioned in the lease.

Returned check and late fee amount should be explained, along with when they apply. Late and bounce fee amounts are often regulated by state law.

Parking. Included or not? If included, where exactly is the assigned spot? How many spaces are included should be detailed as well. Is there an extra fee for parking overnight or if there is a guest?

Maintenance. Who pays for what? Does the landlord foot the bill if the intercom breaks or does the tenant? Maintenance requirements for all items included with the unit should be clearly explained in the lease.

Once casual and left silent in leases, specific laws in some areas now delineate entry, which should be reflected in the lease. As a general rule, emergency entry is allowed. Non-emergency entry should be defined in the lease to avoid misunderstandings later.

Use common sense when checking out the lease, and take the time to read the details line by line. If you have any questions or notice something missing, speak up before signing the lease document.


For more on Southern California commercial properties there is a great information blog at