December 17, 2015-— Carrie Kirshman and Nina Giovannitti were close neighbors at their Spanish villa apartments in Fairfax, sharing keys, collecting each other’s mail and tending to a communal garden in the backyard.
Their rent-controlled building allowed them to enjoy below-market rents of less than $2,000 a month for their two-bedroom pads in the upscale neighborhood. That came to an end in late 2013 when the owners evicted them under the Ellis Act, a state law that allows landlords to get out of the rental business.
Comparable apartments in Fairfax were going for more than twice as much. Kirshman and Giovannitti were forced to relocate to Mid-Wilshire last year.
“I lived there for 21 years and I was thrown out of my home,” Kirshman said. “Just because I didn’t own it didn’t make it less so my home.”
Within weeks, their apartments began appearing on Airbnb — a short-term rental site geared at tourists — for nightly rates that could total $15,000 a month, they said.
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