Hollywood Hills home came with caveat. LA owns half the land, lawsuit claims

Television producer thought he was buying a home on 16K sf of land, and said there was a fence to prove it

May.May 06, 2019 04:00 PM
Neal Baer and 2805 Woodstock Road (Credit: Zillow)
Neal Baer and 2805 Woodstock Road (Credit: Zillow)

Marketing materials for the Hollywood Hills home touted it was on 16,500 square feet of land, which included lush landscaping. A fence cordoned off some of the property.

But after a television producer — and pediatrician — dropped $4.4 million for the place, he soon found half the land didn’t belong to him. Who does it belong to? The City of Los Angeles.

Now, Neal Baer, whose work includes “ER” and “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit,” is suing Keller Williams, along with two agents on the deal, and the property seller, claiming he was duped.

Baer is alleging the seller, Clifford Watts, and the agents — Hattie Ramirez of Keller and Mike Deasy of Deasy/Penner & Partners — intentionally withheld the fact that about 8,500 square feet of the property belongs to L.A.

Watts had fenced in part of the city-owned land to give the appearance that it belonged to him, according to the lawsuit filed in Los Angeles County Superior Court last month. The suit also claims he built on some of the city’s land without proper permits.

Baer discovered the “encroachment” when he conducted a survey on the property at 2805 Woodstock Road after closing escrow, the suit claims. The sale closed July 2017.

Clifford, who lived at the home for nearly two decades, would have known about the property boundaries, according to Baer’s suit. The lines were also reflected in a 2005 survey, which Baer says he was not shown.

Deasy said the lawsuit “does not have merit.” He added that “disclosures were made, both in writing and orally.” Ramirez did not respond to requests for comment. A call to Keller Williams was not returned.

Baer’s attorney, Joe Abramson, did not respond to repeated requests for comment. Baer could not be reached.

The lawsuit is similar to one filed last month over the sale of a Lincoln Heights development site. In that claim, Jonathan Torres sued Century 21 Allstars and one of its agents, claiming they misrepresented the property as 1 acre when it was significantly smaller.

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