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Hirschfield v. Santa Monica Rent Control Bd.
Hirschfield v. Santa Monica Rent Control Bd.
08/30/06

Hirschfield v. Santa Monica Rent Control Bd.




Filed 8/17/06 Hirschfield v. Santa Monica Rent Control Bd. CA2/3






NOT TO BE PUBLISHED IN THE OFFICIAL REPORTS







California Rules of Court, rule 977(a), prohibits courts and parties from citing or relying on opinions not certified for publication or ordered published, except as specified by rule 977(b). This opinion has not been certified for publication or ordered published for purposes of rule 977.



IN THE COURT OF APPEAL OF THE STATE OF CALIFORNIA



SECOND APPELLATE DISTRICT



DIVISION THREE










RICHARD HIRSCHFIELD et al.,


Plaintiffs and Appellants,


v.


SANTA MONICA RENT CONTROL BOARD,


Defendant and Respondent.



B183887


(Los Angeles County


Super. Ct. No. SS012563)



APPEAL from a judgment of the Superior Court of Los Angeles County, Valerie Baker, Judge. Affirmed.


Law Office of Robert Ferguson, Robert Ferguson for Plaintiffs and Appellants.


Santa Monica Rent Control Board, David R. Daniels, General Counsel, Keith J. Kresge, Staff Attorney for Defendant and Respondent.


_________________________


INTRODUCTION


Plaintiffs and appellants Richard Hirschfield and Barbara Taub as Trustee of the Barbara Taub Trust (collectively, Hirschfield) own an apartment building. One of their tenants petitioned defendant and respondent the Santa Monica Rent Control Board (the Board) for a rent decrease based on, among other things, an alleged loss of parking. A hearing officer granted the tenant a $75 decrease in rent. Hirschfield appealed the decision to the Board, and the Board affirmed the decision. Hirschfield then filed a petition for a writ of administrative mandamus in the superior court based on the argument that the Board failed to consider equitable defenses. The trial court held that equitable defenses were not applicable to the proceeding before the Board, and it therefore denied the writ. We hold that the trial court properly denied the writ, but for a different reason: Hirschfield did not adequately raise the equitable defenses during the administrative process. We therefore affirm the judgment.


FACTUAL AND PROCEDURAL BACKGROUND


I. Alison Hammond petitions for a rent decrease.


In 1997, Alison Hammond rented an apartment, unit D, in Santa Monica. She did not receive a parking space, although other units received a parking space. The original 1979 registration for the apartment building did not list parking as an amenity for unit D. In November 2001, Hammond informed her then landlord that she intended to file a petition for a rent decrease based on the landlord's failure to give her the next available parking space.


Thereafter, Hirschfield purchased the property in mid-2002. In July, Hammond offered to negotiate an agreement with Hirschfield for the voluntary vacancy of her unit based on electrical problems. In November, Hammond notified Hirschfield of her intent to file a petition for a rent decrease based on â€

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