Hexodus looks deeper than its own reflection in an interesting post about the causes of gentrification, specifically in Echo Park, though the writer's personal experiences with unsavory landlords certainly are not unique.
Unfortunately, Hexodus is not able to tell the writer's own story due to lawsuit constraints, but the outlines are this: landlord buys building in Echo Park, wants lower-rent tenants out, digs into a bag of dirty tricks to achieve his goal.
Hexodus makes an important distinction between investors and speculators and how the difference plays out in shaping a neighborhood. One problem with speculators, the blog says:
...is the intimidation and harassment of the rent-controlled tenant in order to turn a profit. Whether or not we like rent control, it is the law. ... Essentially [speculators] are trying to make up the difference on a bad investment by hassling tenants. They do it because most of the time it works.
Meanwhile, in related news, the L.A. Times ran a story recently about rent control laws themselves under siege.