Tenants who were due to be evicted have told DailyMail.com the 42-year-old real estate tycoon pulled the project without informing them – just as they were poised to sign a ‘substantial moveout deal.’
Set to make a profit of $26 million, the flip involved El Moussa’s investment firm TEM Capital, along with his wife Heather Rae’s company HEM Capital and two separate ventures – Pyramid Development Group and WJK Development Co.
He offered Hartsook Street tenants the legally required minimum of $12,000 each to leave – but five stubborn residents said they wouldn’t move from their rent-controlled homes without a better deal.
But now, residents say, El Moussa has left the project and they are still facing the prospect of being evicted.
HGTV star Tarek El Moussa appears to have axed his ‘biggest ever flip’ in North Hollywood following fierce resistance from residents – days after they finally reached a compromise. (Pictured: El Moussa with his wife Heather Rae, who is also involved in the project)
‘Tarek’s backing out. We don’t know why,’ said resident Clare Letmon, 32, who is eight-and-half months pregnant and lives on the street with her husband Jonpaul Rodriguez, 35. (Pictured: Letmon and Rodriguez at a union march in early October)
El Moussa described his vision for the new block (pictured) as a ‘super modern’ ‘incredible building’, adding :’This is Hollywood man, this is where everybody wants to live’
Resident Clare Letmon, who is eight-and-a-half months pregnant, told DailyMail.com their union believed it had finally come to an agreement with El Moussa’s business partners when he suddenly pulled the project.
‘Tarek’s backing out. We don’t know why,’ said Letmon, 32, who moved to the street from Florida in January 2019 with her husband Jonpaul Rodriguez, 35, hoping to start a family there.
TEM Capital did not respond to a request for comment from DailyMail.com in time for publication – though Hartsook residents shared screenshots of El Moussa appearing to blast their claims as ‘lies, lies, lies’ on TikTok.
Letmon said the deal they were set to sign now seems to have been nothing more than an empty offering to keep their vocal union quiet while he promoted his new book.
‘He dragged us along and wasted our time, we suspect, to keep us quiet during his book tour,’ Letmon said.
‘We still face a June eviction from the current owner. Now that Tarek’s backing out, we just have less time, resources, and capacity than we did before he became involved.
‘After months of negotiating – time we cannot get back – we reached an agreement and were just waiting for signatures.
‘It was agonizing and awful and then we had the rug pulled out from under us as we were making arrangements to move.’
Letmon said residents noticed TEM Capital removed the project from their website on November 1, and they approached other buyers the next day who revealed that he was backing out.
She said the buyers implied this was due to union resistance – which involved them speaking out against the flip and joining mass protests about the wider LA housing crisis.
Hartsook tenants have also blasted via Instagram the apparent axing of the NoHo 138 project just as they reached a deal with El Moussa
Letmon and Rodriguez had been hoping to start their family on Hartsook Street when they were hit with Ellis Act eviction notices earlier this year
The reported decision comes as his wife was mysteriously removed from Selling Sunset as the show prepares for its seventh season.
In an Instagram post defending his project, El Moussa previously said ‘I’m not evicting anyone’, adding: ‘Notices to the current tenants were served by the current owner, not by me or the partners of NoHo 138.’
Letmon disputed this, saying: ‘Tarek maybe didn’t serve the papers himself, but he’s engaged in a process where that’s the outcome.’ Now, it appears he’s left them high and dry without any notion of whether they will be compensated for the ordeal.
The expectant mom described their case as a microcosm of what is happening across LA as developers buy up formerly affordable housing, create expensive new units and essentially make people homeless by raising prices in their area.
Other Hartsook tenants left in turmoil by El Moussa’s most recent move include Cathy Livas, 78, who has lived her home for more than 50 years and cares for her 56-year-old disabled son there, and singer and yoga teacher Naomi Nektare, 49.
TEM Capital said in August that tenants had been treated ‘respectfully and lawfully’ while offered compensation to leave.
Following a split from his first wife Christina in 2018, El Moussa began dating Selling Sunset star Heather Rae Young, now El Moussa, the following year.
Other Hartsook tenants left in turmoil by El Moussa’s most recent move include Cathy Livas, 78 (left), who has lived her home for more than 50 years and cares for her 56-year-old disabled son there, and singer and yoga teacher Naomi Nektare, 49 (right)
Ranging in age from 32 to 78, the united tenants who have stayed put amid horrific circumstances say they won’t be turfed out easily and are determined to oppose the development, named NoHo 138
Residents on Hartsook Street in the NoHo Arts District were threatened with eviction notices amid El Moussa’s $26 million ‘biggest ever flip’ – also involving his wife Heather Rae El Moussa’s company
The couple married on October 23 2021 at the Rosewood Miramar Beach Hotel in Montecito, and their wedding day became a Discovery+ special called Tarek and Heather: The Big I Do.
Since then they have starred together on their own HGTV show, The Flipping El Moussas, and had their first child in February. El Moussa also has two children with his ex.
The reality TV stars document their glamorous lifestyle on social media, regularly posting pictures of their frequent holidays, house flips, and his gym routines on Instagram and Twitter.
The celebrity couple recently launched a luxury line of monochrome-colored household products, called Home By Tarek and Heather.