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LA County Tenant to Be Forced Out of Home at 102

Thelma Smith getting the boot because landlord's daughter needs a place to live
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted May 24, 2019 10:21 AM CDT
Stock photo.   (Getty Images)

(Newser) – A 102-year-old woman is being evicted from her Los Angeles residence of 30 years, without relocation assistance. Thelma Smith received a notice in March saying she would have three months to vacate the home she's inhabiting on a month-to-month lease so the landlord's daughter, who is graduating from law school, can move in. Los Angeles has rent-control laws that provide some degree of protection to tenants, but Smith lives just outside the city limits in Los Angeles County, and the rules are weaker there, reports the LA Times. Smith is a widow on a fixed income and has no relatives in the area. And because she's not in the city, she won't get money to relocate.

“We know legally you can make her leave but 102? Would you kick out a 102-year-old woman?” a reporter from CBS LA asked the landlord. "Would you take care of your child?" he replied. "It just shows a perfect example of how tenants without strong rent-controlled protections are vulnerable to displacement and injustices," Larry Gross of the Coalition for Economic Survival tells the Times. A neighbor is trying to help Smith figure things out, though Smith does not want to leave. "The only thing that I can say is that I've tried to live a good life," she tells CBS. "I've never wanted to harm anybody." (Read more Los Angeles stories.)

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