Tenant Troubles for Ebenstein

Former Santa Barbara School Board member and recent mayoral candidate Lanny Ebenstein prevailed in court Monday in a dispute with his tenants, who had charged that Ebenstein evicted them in retaliation for their complaints about the condition of their 27-room rental home on Glendessary Lane. The tenants-the extended family of business consultant Neil Raden and author and hormone therapist T.S. Wiley-also suggested that Ebenstein took unfair advantage of a family trust established for his developmentally disabled brother. Judge William McLafferty ruled the tenants’ arguments were both inadmissible and irrelevant to the central legal question: whether Ebenstein was legally entitled not to renew their family’s two-year lease. In court, Ebenstein argued that he did not renew the lease because the Raden-Wiley family was continually late with the rent, and that he discovered that 45 lawsuits had been filed against members of the Raden-Wiley family over unpaid bills in the past 25 years. The tenants have denied the charges and are demanding a jury trial. McLafferty asked attorneys for both sides to submit legal arguments justifying why they are entitled to one or not.

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