The landlord, however, says he's also a victim.
BOYLE HEIGHTS, LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- Low-income residents of one Boyle Heights apartment building say they're being forced to move out, accusing their landlord of tossing their belongings on the street.
However, the landlord claims he's also a victim.
"I feel bad for my daughter ... I live with my daughter ... right here," said Vickie Montes-Colendres in tears as she spoke with Eyewitness News on Tuesday.
Montes-Colendres has a bed in a space that she claims had been illegally subdivided by her landlord. She says when she complained to the city, the walls were torn down and her belongings were thrown out.
"He put all the stuff outside on the street. He locked the door, he changed the lock," the mother said.
Union de Vecinos and the Los Angeles Tenants Union say the owner converted what were supposed to be single-family apartments into a hotel, subdividing individual units to fit more renters.
During a tour of the building on Tuesday, you could still see where the walls used to be.
"Tenants and their young children came home from work, from school, to find that their unit was completely gone, completely disappeared and their belongings ... they had no idea where they were," said Leonardo Vilchis Jr. with Union De Vecinos.
The additional renters claim they were paying $900 to $1,200 for an area that fit a bed. The refrigerator and the cabinets have locks on them because people there say one single kitchen has to be shared by eight families, which include about 25 people altogether.
"Poor, immigrant, low-income families are being shoved into bedrooms and they're being displaced, and when they can't pay the rent, they're going into the streets," said Leonardo Vilchis Sr. with Union De Vecinos. "This is just ridiculous."
One woman who did not want to be identified says because now there are fewer tenants, they were told the rent would increase.
"Because the city came in and because somebody in the building called the city, now the city is involved, and that's why he just raised the rent $300 for each of us," she told ABC7 through an interpreter.
Eyewitness News contacted the owner who says he has a tenant who is subleasing the property and doing these illegal changes.
"I'm a victim like the tenant, but I'm talking legal action against him to evict him," he said. "They are all his tenants and he's totally responsible for all that."
Meanwhile, residents say the ordeal is causing them stress. Montes-Colendres is still at the building, but she's not sure what will happen next.
She says she was told to leave.
"You have to move, you'll have to get out with your daughter," she says she was told. "It's hard."