La Jolla apartment tenants evicted for vacation rentals

Long-term renters were given 60-day notices in May.

SAN DIEGO — Long-term tenants in La Jolla are being evicted so their apartment complex can be converted into short-term rentals.

The new owners of the property appear to be taking advantage of a loophole in the city’s ordinance to license vacation rentals.

“The reason that they gave was for a substantial remodel. It seems like they just want to get everybody out,” said tenant Devin O’Dea, who said he was given a 60-day eviction notice in May. “We lived here for 11 years. We have two small children. I’ve got a one-year-old and a four-year-old. Our daughter’s starting school in public school this year, so that’s an added complication.”

Other tenants in the nine-unit apartment complex on Rosemont St. in La Jolla also received notices. Some of them have lived there for decades.

“We have barbecues. We have movie nights. It’s a community. We try to invite all the people from the neighborhood and bring people together. So, I think everybody wants to stay. Nobody wants to leave,” said O’Dea.

Records show the new owner, Rosemont Windansea LLC, bought the property last year. Weeks later, Paragon Management Company LLC applied for licenses to convert the apartments into short-term vacation rentals.

Data shows almost four percent of housing in La Jolla currently consists of short term rental properties.

“You just point in any direction, and they’re all short term rentals,” said O’Dea.

O’Dea said he didn’t even know about the planned conversion until San Diego vacation rental data expert Jay Goldberg showed up and told him about the investment firm’s license applications with the city of San Diego.

“Several of the names of the people on the licenses are the same last names as the owners of this investment firm,” said Goldberg.

Goldberg runs a data website, niceneighbors.org, listing the addresses of all San Diego short-term rentals. He says multiple apartment units can be converted to vacation rentals using a loophole in the city’s ordinance.

“A person can only have one license. It could be any person, though. So, if you’re an owner with five properties, if you can find five different people to put their names and phone numbers down as owners of that license, they will get that license,” Goldberg said.

There’s nothing illegal about converting an apartment complex into a vacation rental. It’s just becoming more and more common as tourists are willing to pay big bucks for vacation units in San Diego.

WATCH RELATED: San Diego City Council passes first reading of short-term vacation rental ordinance

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