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Southwest Mobile Storage - Best Mobile Storage & Office Containers In Granada Hills, CA

Southwest Mobile Storage is a family-owned shipping container business founded in 1995. Our strength for more than 25 years comes from the specialized knowledge and passion of our people, along with serving over 24,000 commercial, construction and residential customers. Our facility and expertise in maintaining, manufacturing, and delivering corrugated steel containers is unrivaled in the industry.

While the rental side of our business is regional with branches throughout the Southwest, our container sales and modification operations are nationwide and becoming global. Granada Hills, CA offers a wide selection of portable offices and mobile storage containers you can rent, buy or modify.

Our experts in container rental, sales and customization are committed to providing you the highest quality and best experience from service to delivery - our reputation depends on it.

Whether your need is for storage, office space, moving, multi-purpose or custom use, we've got your back. Here's how:

Storage Containers Granada Hills, CA



We bring your storage container to you for convenient, easy access at your home, business or jobsite. Plus, you'll get more choice in storage space and better security, for a fraction of the cost of a pod or add on building, saving money and energy.


Not enough room to keep a storage container at your business, home or construction site? No problem - we can store it for you. Plus, you get 70% more space and better security, for a fraction of the cost of public storage units.


Need a permanent storage solution for your business, residence or construction? We sell new and used shipping containers in many sizes with a variety of add-ons. Or customize a container to your specific storage needs with our certified fabrication experts.


Take your time packing with our moving containers. We'll deliver to your business or home and pick it up whenever you're ready to move. So, you don't have to stress about moving or making multiple trips in one day, like if you rented a moving truck.


Our moving container solutions ensure the long-distance move of your home or business is highly efficient and affordable throughout the southwest. In fact, we usually cost 20%-40% less than full-service movers.


We understand move-in and move-out dates might be different. We can store your moving container at our highly secure facilities until you're ready to move to your new home or business location, and you can conveniently access it at any time.


Whether you need a workspace, conference room, or other office requirement, our ground-mounted mobile offices meet any and all of your business needs. Plus, it's faster and easier than building additions.


If you need your shipping container to serve multiple uses, such as office-storage combos, breakrooms and even utilities, we've got you covered. We'll modify a custom container to fit your business needs and bring your business to the next level


We'll create a custom container to fit your unique needs anywhere in the US. With our container modification expertise, we make any idea a reality. From pop-up stores to multi-story structures, our unrivaled facilities and fabrication experts do it all.

You'll get your own dedicated storage and container expert to serve as your one point of contact for easy, convenient service you can trust.
With our wide selection of intermodal containers for sale and rent, you'll find exactly what you need, from size, to type and condition.
We maintain our rental fleet to the highest standard - our integrity depends on it.
Our certified, experienced Conex container modification experts have more than 500 years combined experience modifying ISO containers.
All of our containers come with high security dual-locking system for no additional charge, so you can rest assured your stored items stay safe and that you don't have to pay extra for it.
At our unrivaled 90,000 sq ft indoor fabrication facility, ensuring your custom shipping container is made exactly to your specifications.
With our level of service, quality and expertise, you won't find a better value anywhere else.
Our portable offices include lighting and electrical outlets, internet hookups, HVAC and were crafted by our in-house steel container fabrication experts for top-quality construction.

Premium Quality - High Security

With Southwest Mobile Storage, you get much more than a POD or typical Conex box. You also get high security, unparalleled service and unmatched container modification expertise and facilities. No other company offers that much.

Shipping containers and storage containers come in a range of sizes. The most common external lengths are 20ft and 40ft with a width of 8ft. ISO Containers are typically 8ft 6in tall, but high cube containers are 9ft 6in tall. We also have steel containers in a variety of sizes from 10ft long to 45ft long to rent or buy, and we can modify shipping containers into any size you want.

 Rent Storage Containers Granada Hills, CA

SMS Mobile Storage Containers have these high quality features:

1/8" thick steel plate bottom side rails
High strength steel supporting cross members
1 1/8" thick hardwood floor with galvanized self-tapping screws
16-gauge corrugated steel walls
16-gauge roof
270-degree swing cargo door(s)
High security dual-locking system*
Spot-grinded, primed & repainted with a beige high-grade water reducible alkyd direct-to-metal enamel*
* Comes standard on all rental units

SMS portable workspace containers have these structural features:

High security window bars, lever & deadbolt set with lock box
Studs & R-19 Insulation covered with wood paneling
1 1/8" marine board floor is covered with a durable single part gray epoxy coating
Dual pane low-E horizontal sliding windows with screens and miniblinds
18 Gauge steel polystyrene core 3-hour fire rated personnel door
All of our workspaces are manufactured in-house and arrive new or restored to factory specifications
Exterior load center operating on 100 Amp single phase 230 Volt power
Light switch, receptacles and 4' light fixtures; all wiring is Romex 12/2
CAT-6 voice and data lines with electrical junction box
HVAC units ranging from 1 ton to 2 ton on rentals; ability to customize up to 10 tons of cooling

Having flexible storage containers options is important, but security is crucial to protect your peace of mind and your possessions.

At Southwest Mobile Storage, we don't believe in leaving things to chance. We want you to rest easy knowing your inventory, documents, tools, equipment and other items are safe 24/7. That is why we equip SMS high-security slide bolt locking systems and lockboxes on our entire fleet of rental freight containers.


High-security slide-bolt locking system and extra-long lock box, giving you twice the security and peace of mind.
No holes to ensure your rental shipping container is wind and water-tight.
No rust for your safety.
14-gauge corrugated steel for strength and reinforcement.

Contact us to speak with a helpful, friendly representative to better understand our full range of capabilities. We are happy to answer any questions you have, go over pricing and set up a time and place to deliver your Conex box. Our quotes are 100% free and you are under no obligation to pay for your consultation.


When you own a business or manage one, it's crucial to have efficient, affordable ways to store inventory and supplies, whether it's to grow your business or adapt to changes in the market, like the many caused by the pandemic.

Renting storage containers to keep at your business eliminates the cost and hassles of sending your staff to offsite storage facilities. Steel containers with roll up doors make storing and retrieving items faster and easier. Auto repair shops and other businesses that need easy access throughout the workday to secure storage for tools, parts, equipment or supplies find renting shipping containers to be the best solution for their business storage needs. Southwest Mobile Storage has your back.

 Storage Containers For Rent Granada Hills, CA

Renting portable offices gives your business more workspace, breakrooms, pop up stores, security booths and more, without the cost and red tape associated with constructing building additions. Plus, a steel storage container fits neatly into one parking space and provides much stronger security than Pods and way more convenience than self-storage units.

If you have a specific need, we can modify shipping containers to build whatever you need to grow your business. Whether it's a portable workspace to run your business, like a pop-up container bar, or a durable facility for scientific research, like a container laboratory, or even a container gym, our unrivaled fabrication facility and modification experts got you covered. Our full-time, in-house staff of certified welders, engineers, electricians, carpenters and painters have over 500 years combined experience modifying thousands of container projects for just about any business use you can imagine.


Offsite storage alternatives cause a mess of hassles and headaches. Expanding office space and storage capacity at your location saves time, money and hassle of making multiple trips offsite.
We offer more choice in security, size and features in steel Conex boxes or ISO shipping containers than a public storage unit or Pod for less cost and far greater service.
We offer flexible, month-to-month rental agreements and prorate by the day after your first 28-day billing cycle.
With us, you get a dedicated account manager you can rely on, so you can focus on running your business than waste time with a different person every time you call that doesn't know or care as much.
While other companies may have some staff for modifying containers, most outsource the work, so you don't know who is actually doing the modifications or how much they're marking up the price.
 Mobile Storage Containers Granada Hills, CA
When you modify a shipping container for your business, you won't have to worry about expensive, lengthy and complicated construction.
We have modified thousands of containers nationwide and internationally for more than 25 years for NASA, US Navy, GCP Applied Technologies, Helix and Sundt to name a few. And rent containers to Amazon, Walmart and many of other nationally recognized brands.
Our extensive staff makes it possible to custom build multiple projects simultaneously and our 90,000 sq ft indoor fabrication facility prevents contaminants from interfering with fabrication, which delivers better quality and precision.


Building additions to your home can be very expensive and requires going through the hassle of securing permits and waiting for construction. You can save money, time and stress by modifying a shipping container instead. Whether you need additional space for a home gym, recreation or storage, we can convert steel containers into anything you can imagine. Our custom container gyms, man-caves or she-sheds, garages and more give you the extra space you need without the hassle, cost and wait that comes with home renovation.

Renting shipping containers for temporary storage, either when moving or dealing with restoration from a fire or flood, provides a secure, convenient way to keep your belongings close for accessing them whenever you need to. Plus, renting mobile storage containers for moving costs less than traditional movers and allows you to take your time packing, reducing the stress that comes from moving. You can also rent portable offices for your home to make working remotely distraction-free.

 Rent Shipping Containers Granada Hills, CA


With an extensive in-house staff and 90,000 sq ft container modification facility, we're able to deliver consistently high quality and work on multiple projects simultaneously for a fast turnaround.

Other companies don't have the facility, staff or resources to modify shipping containers and will outsource the work to various shops who may not have the special experience or tools needed to modify the right way.

You can rest assured knowing your custom container is safe in our hands. Our certified weld and quality control inspectors ensure everything is structurally sound and built to your specifications through every step of the process.

Renting a moving container from us makes your move much less stressful because you won't have to rush to pack your whole house into a moving truck in one day. Instead, you can take your time packing over the course of a month.

Our ISO shipping containers are weatherproof and come with vault-like security, so you don't have to worry about theft or damage to your belongings.

You won't get that level of security from U-Haul or other moving truck companies.

Renting a storage container at your home keeps your belongings close and gives you convenient 24/7 access, so you're always able to retrieve the contents of your container when you need to.

We know move in and move out dates don't always line up. We can store your packed rental container at our secure facility until your new home is ready.

With our mobile storage containers for rent in Granada Hills, CA, you can save up to 40% when compared to full-service long-distance movers, while gaining more flexibility in your schedule.


We know your needs may change suddenly. With our extensive inventory and variety of sizes of portable offices and shipping containers to rent, buy or modify in Granada Hills, CA, we provide fast service and the best value possible so it's easy for you to get whatever you need when you need it.

Renting storage containers and portable offices from us gives you more flexibility when it comes to your schedule and options. If you don't have enough space at your current location or simply would prefer offsite storage, you can keep your rental storage and office containers at your location or ours - whichever is most convenient for you. You also get more options to choose from when it comes to size and features, like portable offices with divided rooms for private meetings or office/storage combos for storage and office space in one container. All while costing a fraction of the price of a pod or self-storage facility.

You can also buy new or used freight containers from us and choose from a variety of add-ons, including lights, electricity, doors and windows. Or fully customize a shipping container to save time, money and energy by skipping the expensive, lengthy process of constructing building additions. We can modify a Conex box into whatever you can imagine for any use you need, from construction tool cribs to office buildings, monitoring stations, mobile communication towers and much more. The possibilities are endless.


You'll never face hidden fees or surprises with us. We give you transparent billing up front at the best prices.

With us, you get a reliable, dedicated point of contact, who keeps you updated every step of the way. You can rest assured knowing you'll always get what you need, when you need it.

No other company has the breadth and depth of staff and experience that we do when it comes to modifying shipping containers. Our certified welders, engineers, electricians, plumbers, carpenters and painters have more than 500 years of combined experience in fabricating custom steel containers.

We prorate your rent by the day after the first 28-day billing cycle, so you don't have to pay for a full month when you only have your mobile containers and offices for a few days.

While other companies may be able to do small container modifications, most don't have an in-house fabrication staff or 90,000 sq ft fabrication facility like we do. As a result, they outsource the work on your custom container, so you don't know who's actually building it.

Rest assured knowing your modified shipping container will be built to the highest quality standards. Our certified weld and quality control inspectors check every step of the fabrication process to ensure everything is structurally sound and built to your specifications.


Whether you're in need of a storage container for your commercial business, a portable office for your construction site, or a moving container for your home, our process is simple and straightforward.

Choose Your Container

Choose the mobile storage solution that works best for your needs. In this step, you will let us know the number of containers you need, their sizes and what types of doors to equip.

Choose Your Options

Let us know if you would like to add any of our rental options, like a folding table or shelving.

Choose Your Security

Choose from padlocks, puck locks and other enhanced security options. All of our storage containers come standard with dual-locking, vault-like security.

Choose Your Delivery Timeframe

You can expect standard delivery within 3-5 days of your order. If you need expedited delivery, we will do everything in our power to accommodate your needs.

Pick-Up Planning

Do you need to keep your shipping container at our location? Prefer to have our team deliver your packed container to a location of your choice? Let us know, and we'll be by your side to work out the logistics.




Let our team know where we should deliver your mobile storage container for rent in Granada Hills, CA. Be sure to let us know if there are any special conditions that might prevent our drivers from entering your chosen destination. Before you schedule your delivery, let us know which direction you would like the doors of your container to face.



Our drivers can deliver your storage container Monday-Friday, between the hours of 6AM and 2PM local time. Our two-hour delivery window is the most precise in the industry. If you desire another delivery time outside of our standard delivery options, we will do our best to accommodate your needs. As a courtesy, our driver will call you at least 30 minutes before they arrive at your drop-off destination.



Before we deliver your Conex box, prepare your delivery area by ensuring that there are no low overhangs, arches, wires, trees or any other obstacles that could interfere with your delivery. It's a good idea to mark the space where you would like your steel container placed.



When our driver arrives, they will back our truck into the space where you would like your shipping container placed. Once we arrive, we will ensure that your container is delivered safely and securely. If placed on asphalt or pavement, we will use wood dunnage pads to make sure your ground surface is protected and the container is level.


Check out our FAQ page or reach out to our helpful customer service team today @


Latest News in Granada Hills, CA

California Charter School Completes $41M Expansion Project

New ConstructionOne of the largest public charter schools in the U.S., Granada Hills Charter near Los Angeles, recently announced the completion of a $41-million campus expansion project. The school partnered with builder C.W. Driver Companies to create a new, 90,000-square-foot campus about a mile from the existing high school. The extra space will allow the school to expand its curriculum to ...

New Construction

One of the largest public charter schools in the U.S., Granada Hills Charter near Los Angeles, recently announced the completion of a $41-million campus expansion project. The school partnered with builder C.W. Driver Companies to create a new, 90,000-square-foot campus about a mile from the existing high school. The extra space will allow the school to expand its curriculum to students between transitional kindergarten and eighth grade and boost its enrollment from 4,700 to 6,000 by 2023, according to a news release.

The new campus was built on a former school site, and the work entailed demolishing nine buildings, constructing three new ones and installing temporary portable classroom buildings. The first of the new constructions houses common areas like administration offices, a multipurpose room to use as a cafeteria or auditorium, and a media space. The second new building stands three stories and houses 48 classrooms for elementary- and middle-school students. The third new facility houses a full-service kitchen and student locker rooms. Another existing building was renovated to include restrooms, while new outdoor spaces include a lit sports field with a running track and two basketball courts.

“By leveraging decades of academic construction experience, C.W. Driver Companies has successfully built a high-quality educational environment tailored to Granada Hills Charter’s diverse academic, athletic and extracurricular offerings,” said John Kately, project executive at C.W. Driver Companies. “Years in the making, the modern campus enables Granada Hills Charter to provide families and children with continuity in education for all grades up until high-school graduation.”

According to a news release, Granada Hills Charter was founded in 1960 and converted into an independent charter school in 2003. The site of the expansion was purchased in 2014 with the explicit purpose of creating a campus for elementary- and middle-school students. Enrollment for the younger grades began in fall 2019.

“With the expertise of C.W. Driver Companies, we are now able to broaden our comprehensive academic, arts, athletics and social programming to reach over 27 percent more students in grades TK-8 by 2023,” said Brian Bauer, executive director at Granada Hills Charter. “This 21st-century facility provides an enhanced student-centric experience that will prepare our students for a future they envision and own.”

Granada Hills Charter and C.W. Driver Companies also partnered with PBK-WLC Architects, Inc.

HS senior says he's banned from prom, graduation due to school's vaccine policy

LOS ANGELES - An unvaccinated high school senior said he is heartbroken over the school's vaccination policy that will prevent him from attending prom and graduation.Andrew Luna, a senior at Granada Hills Charter High School, is doing independent study from home because the school's vaccination...

LOS ANGELES - An unvaccinated high school senior said he is heartbroken over the school's vaccination policy that will prevent him from attending prom and graduation.

Andrew Luna, a senior at Granada Hills Charter High School, is doing independent study from home because the school's vaccination policy requires all students to be vaccinated against COVID-19 to attend in-person classes, extracurricular activities and big events like prom, graduation night and graduation.

As part of the school's policy, students needed to be fully vaccinated by January 11, 2022, to curb COVID-19 cases at the school.

"It's heartbreaking, to say the least. This vaccine mandate has no doubt divided much of the student population," said Luna.

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Luna said he was the president of a club at his school, but can no longer participate.

"It's heartbreaking to see many of my past achievements and my friends all gone now and I'm just alone in my room, just laboring endlessly," said Luna.

Luna recorded a video of himself at Disneyland where graduation night will be held in June. Disneyland recommends guests be fully vaccinated against COVID-19, but does not require proof of vaccination to visit the theme park.

However, Luna will not be able to go to graduation night because he is unvaccinated.

The Let Them Breathe organization is now filing a lawsuit.

"They're suing on my behalf to get us [unvaccinated students] back on campus and let all of Granada's kids, approximately 175, back on campus, to walk the stage, to go to prom, to be students," said Luna.

Prom is being held this weekend. Graduation night and graduation are both in June. Luna does not plan to get vaccinated within that time frame, and hopes the lawsuit will help change the policy.

"Enough is enough. Stop with the fearmongering. Stop with the mandates and it isn't 2020 anymore. People want to move on with their lives. Do the right thing and let us back on campus. Let us enjoy our final year, my final year on campus," said Luna.

FOX 11 reached out to Granada Hills Charter High School but could not be reached for comment prior to Thursday's 10 p.m. newscast.

Tune in to FOX 11 Los Angeles for the latest Southern California news.

Granada Hills Charter's Sofia Abrego is running toward bright future

LOS ANGELES — From the laces on her feet to the lightning bolts in her ears, Granada Hills Charter senior Sofia Abrego is a runner through and through.The sport has been a central part of her life for as long as she can remember."I have a twin brother and we played soccer and basketball, but one day we decided to try track and field and cross country," she said. "We were 7 years old and we stuck with it ever since, so we've been running for 10 years now."And while most athletes tend to shy away ...

LOS ANGELES — From the laces on her feet to the lightning bolts in her ears, Granada Hills Charter senior Sofia Abrego is a runner through and through.

The sport has been a central part of her life for as long as she can remember.

"I have a twin brother and we played soccer and basketball, but one day we decided to try track and field and cross country," she said. "We were 7 years old and we stuck with it ever since, so we've been running for 10 years now."

And while most athletes tend to shy away from running as a whole — being on the track and gearing up for a run is Abrego's favorite part of the day.

"It's not necessarily what most people would consider the funnest sport," Abrego admits.

"I think that's why I like it so much," she continued, "because it's something most people don't enjoy, so when I do, it's like I'm special."

Ask her coach, Johnny Wiley, and special might be a bit of an understatement.

Abrego has been a City Section champion in five different races, two in cross country and three in track and field, plus a state qualifier four different times in her young career.

To Wiley, watching her grow as a runner has been a privilege.

"She runs with such a level of grace and ease and just so technically sound that for someone who is 17 years old, you don't see often," he said.

But what's so special about Abrego goes beyond the track or the trail.

It's a work ethic that translates into the classroom as well.

"I would argue she's probably as good a student, if not better than she is as an athlete," Wiley said. "And that says a lot for all she's accomplished so far."

To the high school senior, academics have always come first. Sure, she loves to run, but Abrego has long had a unique perspective on what it means to be a student-athlete.

"I don't necessarily think I've been working hard at my academics to get to a point where I could run for a good school," she explained. "I've been working hard at my running, so that I can go to a good school for my academics."

It's a mindset that's led her to a promising future.

Next spring, Abrego will graduate from Granada Hills Charter and head to Dartmouth College — something she still can't help but smile about.

"I am just so proud and excited," Abrego said. "I never imagined I'd get to a point with my running where I could commit to a school, especially an Ivy, and be able to run for them."

And yet, here she is, continuing to put one foot in front of the other and excelling along the way.

CORRECTION: An earlier version of this story incorrectly referred to Dartmouth College as Dartmouth University. This has been updated. (Nov. 15, 2021)

Baseball roundup: Granada Hills’ Easton Hawk stars in varsity debut

Support our high school sports coverage by becoming a digital subscriber. Subscribe now.GRANADA HILLS — Sometimes, you just can’t make this stuff up.Granada Hills Charter baseball player Easton Hawk hit a solo homerun over the left field fence in his first-ever varsity at-bat to highlight the Highlanders’ 2-1 win over Calabasas in the opening game of the Easton Tournament Saturday after...

Support our high school sports coverage by becoming a digital subscriber. Subscribe now.

GRANADA HILLS — Sometimes, you just can’t make this stuff up.

Granada Hills Charter baseball player Easton Hawk hit a solo homerun over the left field fence in his first-ever varsity at-bat to highlight the Highlanders’ 2-1 win over Calabasas in the opening game of the Easton Tournament Saturday afternoon.

“When I hit it, it felt perfect,” said Hawk, who is only a sophomore. “I was pumped rounding the bases.”

Zach Perez earned the win with five innings of work and eight strike outs. Morgan Jennings earned the saved.

Sophomore @easton_hawk27 with an absolute blast that landed on the other side of Hiwatha St in his 1st Varsity AB. Easton has a really bright future!

— Coach Matuszak (@CoachTooz) February 12, 2022

Calabasas’ Tyler Shulman had a base hit and the Coyotes’ lone score, which he earned by scampering to home plate off a Granada Hills error to tie the game at 1-1.

Andrew Cuervo hit a sacrifice fly to center field that scored Sebastian Garcia in the bottom of the third inning to retake the lead at 2-1.

Hawk is certainly one to watch. He pitches, too, and is already throwing 88 miles per hour, according to Granada Hills coach Matt Matuszak.

Granada Hills plays at Sierra Canyon and Calabasas will host Grace Brethren Tuesday at 3 p.m.

Sierra Canyon 17, Grace Brethren 1: Jaden Noot, Max Martin and Grant Werdesheim each hit homers.

Agoura 11, Ventura 1: Ethan Kearney went 4 for 5 with a triple and four RBIs. Jameson Johnstone earned the win with nine strikeouts in six innings.

Rio Mesa 2, Cleveland 1 (9 innings): Braden Lowe had seven strikeouts in five innings in the loss.

Birmingham 5, Simi Valley 0: Daniel Flores earned the win with six strikeouts in five innings. Gavin Taylor hit a grand slam.

Crespi 13, Dos Pueblos 5: Daniel Tovar had six strikeouts in four innings for the Celts.

Westlake 7, Sun Valley Poly 6: The Warriors came from behind to win thanks to a three-run homer from Brian Paymard and a walkoff single from Ethan Bolger.

Hart 7, Santa Barbara 0: Aaron Silverman, Ethan Rhodes and Andrew Salisbury combined for 10 strikeouts in Hart’s win.

Notre Dame 11, St. Bonaventure 1: Christian Miranda had three hits for the Knights.

Quartz Hill 9, Oaks Christian 5: Quartz Hill gave up five runs in the first inning and none for the rest of the game. Brady Larsen had two hits and two RBIs.

Older homeowners face hefty tax bills as L.A. County struggles to implement 2020 tax law

Rose Liebermann opened her property tax bill and did a double take.The $15,584 she owes on her new West Hills home was almost four times as much as the taxes on her previous house in Granada Hills where she had lived for more than 30 years.“This bill, when I saw it, I said, ‘This can’t be real,’” said Liebermann, 71, a clinical social worker.It wasn’t supposed to be that way. Proposition 19, ...

Rose Liebermann opened her property tax bill and did a double take.

The $15,584 she owes on her new West Hills home was almost four times as much as the taxes on her previous house in Granada Hills where she had lived for more than 30 years.

“This bill, when I saw it, I said, ‘This can’t be real,’” said Liebermann, 71, a clinical social worker.

It wasn’t supposed to be that way. Proposition 19, narrowly approved by California voters in 2020, gives older homeowners a property tax break when they move. Specifically, it allows those 55 and older to blend the taxable value of their previous home with the value of a new, more expensive home they purchase, resulting in significant property tax savings.

But processing delays at the Los Angeles County assessor’s office have left property owners like Liebermann facing hefty tax bills that must be paid while they wait for their applications to be approved.

Nearly a year after the law took effect, the assessor’s office has not completed any of the 1,271 applications it has received to recalculate the property taxes for older and disabled homeowners under the law, according to the agency. And it hasn’t finished any of the nearly 3,700 applications for parent-to-child and grandparent-to-grandchild inheritances, the other major piece of the tax measure.

Liebermann moved last summer because she wanted to help her daughter, Natasha Gershon, who is divorced and raising two young children, including a 10-year-old son with autism. Believing the tax measure would make it possible for her to afford a nicer place, Liebermann decided to buy the larger single-family home in West Hills where they all could live.

Liebermann has since borrowed money through a refinance loan to help pay the property tax and to build an accessory dwelling unit for herself.

“My mom didn’t have to do this,” said Gershon, 36. “She sold her house and put off her retirement to make sure her grandkids didn’t have to worry about having a roof over their heads.”

Liebermann said she has called the assessor’s office to inquire about the status of her application for tax relief and was repeatedly told that the office was short-staffed.

“Seniors are being penalized for [the assessor’s] inadequacies,” she said. “If I pay my taxes late, I have to pay a fine. But is there no responsibility or consequences on their end? There should be something to allow for people’s lives to not be so devastated financially.”

L.A. County Assessor Jeffrey Prang said his office needed at least a year to update its technology to implement the tax measure after it was passed, but the law gave assessors only several months to do so.

The original ballot language was unclear, so the assessor’s office helped draft legislation to clarify the law, he said. That legislation was passed and signed by the governor last fall. Without clear guidance on how to administer Proposition 19 for most of last year, applications piled up, he said.

Prang said his office hopes to begin processing applications in the coming weeks, but it will likely take months to get through the backlog. His office has been receiving more emails and phone calls recently from frustrated property owners like Liebermann, he said.

“I’m really sorry,” Prang said. “It really bothers me that people have to deal with these sort of inconveniences, in some cases, hardships. They shouldn’t have to do that. If I had the ability to make that go away today, I would.”

But his office doesn’t have such authority under state law. Neither does L.A. County Treasurer and Tax Collector Keith Knox, who said his office cannot defer or reduce property taxes until the assessor’s office approves the transfers. Taxpayers will receive a refund once the assessor does so, he said.

The state controller’s office offers a tax postponement program that allows older homeowners to defer property tax payments if their household earns less than $45,810 annually and have at least 40% equity in the home. But that wouldn’t help Liebermann.

No agency is tracking the backlog of Proposition 19 applications across the state, but other county assessors are facing similar challenges as in L.A. County, said Leslie Morgan, president of the California Assessors’ Assn.

“I do believe we’re going to take the bulk of the blame in terms of the timing of it and people being upset about getting tax bills,” said Morgan, who is the assessor of Shasta County. “I think that’s just something we’re used to, though. We understand that we need to navigate those conversations with our taxpayers.”

Before Proposition 19’s passage, older homeowners had a one-time opportunity to retain their existing tax amount if they moved to a home of equal or lesser value within the same county. They could do the same when moving between Los Angeles and nine other counties. If they didn’t meet those requirements or moved to a more expensive home, they would have had to pay the full amount in property taxes.

Under the new law, older homeowners receive a property tax benefit when they buy a more expensive home anywhere in the state — up to three times. Homeowners with disabilities can do the same, and victims of wildfires and other natural disasters are able to do so when they move from damaged homes.

Proposition 19 also restricted an inheritance property tax break that allowed the children of homeowners to keep their parents’ low property tax assessments. A 2018 Times investigation found a large number of inherited homes along the coast that are used as investment properties.

As part of the measure, children who inherit their parents’ houses will no longer receive a property tax break if they intend to keep it as a second home or rent it out.

Back in West Hills, the tax hike continues to cause a lot of stress for Liebermann. Once her application is approved, she will likely owe about half of her current tax bill.

“At this stage of my life, it’s not what I was imagining,” she said. “But I’m so glad that I can do it for my daughter and her kids. I would do anything for them. So I don’t regret it, but I just would like to sleep at night, that’s all.”

Times staff writer Liam Dillon contributed to this report.


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