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Tenants In Echo Park Building Are Told To Remove Some Of Their Christmas Lights By An Unlikely Source

ECHO PARK ( —  Some tenants of an Echo Park apartment building say a Grinch is literally trying to steal their Christmas.

Tenants in the building located in the 1100 block of Lemoyne Street were told to take down their lights and decorations in all common areas by Christmas day or the management company would take them down and throw them out.

The letter to tenants -- dated Dec. 22 -- arrived Thursday.

Resident Larry Holman told CBS2's Greg Mills the letter literally dashed his Christmas spirit.

"I was very upset," he said.

"It was really sad and disheartening," said one tenant who just wanted to be referred to as Sarah. "The reason given was kind of strange. It was just like, 'Cause we don't want it.'"

Who is behind the no-lights display edict? Tenants say the International Church of the Foursquare Gospel (ICFG), which owns the apartment buildings. (CORRECTION: A previous version of this article incorrectly stated that Angeles Temple owned the apartment buildings. CBSLA regrets the error.)

Angeles Temple, which is owned by ICFG, has been rented out by the Dream Center since 2001, which uses it for services, according to Dream Center spokesman Clint Carlton. But Carlton says the Dream Center nor Angeles Temple had anything to do with the letter.

In one building, tenants told Mills they banded together to not comply with the demand. And in Holman's building, he said he had no plans to remove his decorations either.

"These will come down the day after New Year's," he said.

Across the street, in a home rented by Rafael Herrera, he said the same thing.

And if the landlord makes good on the threat to take down the decorations and throw them out?

"They take it and throw it in the trash for me," he says, "I will take [what I spent for them] out of the rent, the monthly rent and take it away."

The tenants told Mills they thought the church was being hypocritical. ICFG didn't complain when the Dream Center shut down the entire block last Saturday for its own Christmas spectacular. They also have decorations throughout the church's common areas.

Mills called the church and the property management team for a comment and did not hear back.

The church was also locked up on Christmas day.

The tenants are taking a stand. They said no one will darken their holiday spirit this Christmas season -- not without a fight.

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