Last month The City sued the landlord of a Tenderloin apartment building for forcing tenants to live in substandard conditions such as bedbugs and with drug-dealing gang members keeping them “like prisoners in their own homes.” The public nuisance lawsuit claims the owner of a six-story, 88-unit apartment building at 245 Leavenworth St. Accoding to the lawsuit, the landlord kept the building in substandard conditions despite repeated violation notices since 2009. In addition garbage piled outside, mold and mildew, and a damaged elevator and apartment doors inside. The lawsuit also alleged that Wai allows the building to be used as a headquarters by members of a gang to sell drugs and conduct other criminal activity. According to sfexaminer.com, the continued defiance had left The City with no choice but to seek a court order to protect tenants and neighbors.
The lawsuit cites 13 separate police reports between 2009 and 2011 that refer to gang activity in the at the building and surrounding area. One reported incident involves a man who chased another man from his apartment after the man punched his fist through his window. The resident was then swarmed outside by at least 10 other males who punched him in the head and neck. The resident told police that the group regularly loitered outside the building and threatened residents. Four of the suspects were later identified as members of a gang. And another report documented the fear residents felt over leaving their homes because of the criminal activity and intimidation by the gang. Other reports noted sales of marijuana, hashish, oxycodone, crack cocaine and heroin in front of the property and on the block; violation of a stay-away order from the property by a suspect on felony probation; and assaults and drive-by shootings in the area by members of the gang.
Here at the Brod Law Firm we have over 10 years experience fighting for the rights of tenants who have faced living in substandard conditions. The stigma and frustration tenants go through can be unbearable at times, and we are able to take away some of that burden by helping them collect damages for their pain and suffering, and any lost wages or hospital bills for injuries they experienced due to substandard living, such as coping with a bed-bug infestation or black mold. Leases for apartment buildings include what is known as an implied warranty of habitability. Landlords must maintain these standard necessities for every unit their buildings. Any issues with a unit or building can result in breaches of habitability. Typically if one unit is having problems with bedbugs, mold or faulty plumbing, then there is high probability that the entire building is also affected by the same problems. If you live in a building with substandard habitability, you should contact our firm. We provide representation in San Francisco and throughout the Bay Area. We offer free consultations and work on a contingency basis, meaning we don’t ask for a fee unless a recovery is made.