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A San Francisco landlord who allegedly tried to drive his tenants out of a rent-controlled building was ordered by the courts to pay those tenants $2.7 million!
The landlord was described as a “ruthless predator” by the City Attorney who said that his despicable abuse was targeting tenants (seniors and the disabled) in rent-controlled apartments with illegal evictions.
The lawsuit contended that the tenants were harassed for over more than a year as an effort to get higher rents by forcing them out of their unit.
Finally, the tenants had to move when the landlord [falsely] filed a notice to move for the reason of an “owner move-in” claiming a family member would be moving in. The tenant’s attorney said this never happened.
According to their lawsuit, the tenant’s family moved into a two-bedroom house where the rent was almost triple what they had paid for their apartment.
Originally in 2017, a jury awarded the family more than $3.5 million, but a lower court reduced it to $2.7 million. The First District Court of Appeal said that the landlords either ignored or delayed responding to maintenance requests, were uncommunicative and uncooperative, then became increasingly hostile.
The decision said that the landlord removed recycling bins, refused to fix a leaky water heater, blocked access to a laundry room and allowed power to be shut off.
Not the First Time
The case was the latest of several legal battles involving this landlord who once owned nearly a dozen apartment buildings in San Francisco.
A judge said the landlord showed a “persistent pattern of bad faith harassment, retaliation, and fraud” aimed at renters.
The properties were placed in court-ordered receivership and some were sold.