Billionaire landlord and sometime Santa Barbara resident Geoffrey Palmer tentatively settled a class-action lawsuit alleging massive security deposit fraud by agreeing to pay $12.5 million to 19,000 of his former tenants. Palmer — who maintains a residence on Santa Claus Lane — reportedly owns 15,000 apartments throughout the Los Angeles area. He was accused of violating the state’s security deposit return law on a wholesale basis, failing to provide tenants with a written accounting of deductions drawn, and in other instances of double billing.
Palmer is one of Los Angeles’s biggest and most flamboyantly controversial landlords, having donated more than $6 million to the campaigns of Donald Trump. He is currently suing the City of Los Angeles for $100 million, alleging that’s the amount he lost because of emergency eviction protections adopted by City Hall during the COVID pandemic.
Assuming the settlement is approved in court by a judge on July 18, tenants are expected to receive about $500 to $600 apiece in compensation for deductions made and not properly justified.