GBDH prevails in its hard fought class action trial against Equity Residential on behalf of nearly 190,000 California tenants

April 24, 2024

After an 8 day bench trial in June 2023 before the Honorable Jeffrey White of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California, Goldstein Borgen Dardarian & Ho, along with co-counsel from Nicholas & Tomasevic, LLP and Community Legal Services in East Palo Alto, secured a landmark victory in their decade long battle against Equity Residential challenging the late fee that Equity charges its California tenants for late payment of rent.  On April 8, 2024, the Court ruled that Equity’s late fee of 5% of monthly rent, minimum of $50 is void under California Civil Code section 1761(d) and unlawful under the Unfair Competition Law, California Business & Professions Code section 17200.  The Court also credited the testimony of Plaintiffs’ experts David Breshears and Andrew Schwarz, found Equity’s expert Mark Hosfield’s work to be “unscientific” and “unreliable,” and ordered further proceedings to decide how much Equity will owe the class in restitution of unlawfully collected late fees and how much of a late fee Equity can charge its California tenants for late rent payments going forward, using Plaintiffs’ experts’ methodologies.

Read the Court’s Findings of Fact and Conclusions of Law.

Read more about the case.