[Hpn] IN YO' FACE! *CHUNK STYLE pt. 2

Coalition on Homelessness, SF coh@sfo.com
Tue, 29 Aug 2000 19:28:45 -0700


...continued from pt. 1

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#2

SAN FRANCISCO'S WORST SLUMLORDS
REAL ESTATE SPECULATORS AND GENTRIFICATION PROFITEERS

This research was developed by a team of volunteers who interviewed 
tenant attorneys, tenant rights activists, and tenants throughout the 
Bay Area and conducted background research on the landlords 
recommended by these people. We're sure it's not a complete list and 
would love for you to add to it - with information about other 
landlords or more details on the ones we already know about. A list 
of East, South and North Bay landlords is also in the works, but to 
begin, here are our choices for the worst actors in San Francisco.

According to our tenant activist sources, slumlords are becoming rare 
in San Francisco these days; they emerge when landlords want to make 
money by cutting back on expenses like repairs. These days in San 
Francisco, it's much more lucrative to be a real estate speculator 
than to be a slumlord.

PROPERTY MANAGEMENT COMPANIES THAT OWN AND MANAGE BUILDINGS:

ZEPHYR REAL ESTATE
Zephyr officers and realtors are very active as landlords and real 
estate speculators. The 1998 effort to repeal rent control was led by 
Zephyr: Ilse Cordoni - a longtime Zephyr agent & officer and 
currently a Director of the California Association of Realtors - was 
the largest single donor to the anti-rent-control campaign, giving 
$25,000. Zephyr President and founder William Drypolcher - who had 
residential property holdings worth $2.5 million (in 1998 valuation) 
- gave the anti-rent-control campaign $5,000.

Zephyr's specialty is advocating evicting tenants to make way for 
condo conversions. Zephyr preaches the philosophy of DELIVERED 
VACANT. The current issue of Zephyr's newsletter says: "Buildings 
which are delivered vacant sell for considerably more than those 
which are partially or wholly tenant occupied. The question is how 
much is a vacant unit worth?" 20% more, Zephyr says. The newsletter 
goes to give an example of a 2 unit occupied building which for 
$569,000. The sale fell through in escrow and the building was put 
back on the market empty and sold for $100,000 more, for $670,000. 
One Zephyr realtor's flyer lists a number of buildings bought and 
then re-sold for 50-100% more in the same year, followed by "Call and 
ask me about Ellis Evictions."

Zephyr building examples reported by a tenant rights activist:

348-350 SCOTT - Tenants were evicted under the Ellis Act in late 1998 
by Zephyr realtor Bonnie Spindler. Spindler bought the property in 
May of 1998 for $430,000; in September, she gave tenants an Ellis 
eviction notice (this is typical of most Ellis evictions: a real 
estate investor buys the rental units and immediately files an Ellis 
eviction to remove the units from the rental market).

By February of this year, she had sold all 4 units for a total of 
$975,000 (yielding her a profit of over half-a-million dollars. 
Spindler has been an active real estate speculator in the past and 
besides this Ellis eviction she's doing an "owner move in" eviction 
on another building in the Lower Haight which is being converted to 
condos, and previously did an OMI eviction for herself at 1550 Fell.

362-366 SANCHEZ - This six-unit buildings was bought by a Zephyr 
realtor in 1998 who began converting it into condo-type units. Two 
tenants were evicted for "owner move in" and then the 
realtor/landlords (Tuan Tran and George Uyeda) did an Ellis eviction 
to complete conversions of the apartment units into condo-type units.

273-277 HERMANN - Three unit building created as condos via OMI 
evictions in 1997. In May Zephyr was offering one of the condo-type 
units for $345,000. Evictees included a 20+ year tenant.

LYNCH ASSOCIATES
Lynch Associates do a lot of TIC (Tenancy in Common) evictions and 
have done three Ellis evictions. They are very active in the Mission. 
Various partners were involved in up to half a dozen owner move-in 
evictions since 1996. They specialize in "bluff" evictions: They give 
people OMI notices or Ellis notices; tenants move when they receive 
the notice; then Lynch withdraws the notice. One tenant activist 
calls them "bottom feeders." They buy rundown buildings and try to 
drive the tenants out however they can.

FRANK LEMBI / SKYLINE REALTY
 From a tenant activist: Frank Lembi is the owner of Skyline Realty, a 
major San Francisco property management firm. Skyline is one among 
several property management companies that both owns and manages 
buildings. They do what tenant activists call "pretext evictions." 
This means that they give tenants eviction notices on the smallest 
pretext. Although most tenants who fight these attempted evictions 
win, many tenants just move out when they get an eviction notice. 
Thus the landlord is able to get tenants out of the building and move 
in people who will pay a higher rent.

Skyline Realty is also the subject of disciplinary action by the city 
of SF for major violations of lead paint law. High lead paint 
exposure has been linked to stunted development of children and 
circulatory and nerve disorders in adults.

 From a tenant attorney: Tenant complaints against Skyline are that 
when they take over a property, their property manager seeks to 
intimidate tenants to vacate or pay higher rent. They look for any 
potential violation of lease, including when a family has a child, 
they argue that the child isn't on the lease, which they say is a 
violation of the lease. Either the tenants agree to pay market rent 
or they move out. This may not be rampant in Skyline's buildings; it 
is the practice of at least one Skyline building manager. Skyline 
seems particularly interested in getting into the Tenderloin and SOMA 
neighborhoods. They look for buildings that have "upside" potential: 
possibility that the low-income tenants can be cleared out and the 
building can be turned into something "nice." Lembi is pretty well 
connected. He is the former chief executive at Continental Savings & 
Loan.

ANGELO SANGIACOMO / TRINITY PROPERTIES
"Warlord of city apartment owners, a man whose very existence 
engenders fear, loathing, and, judging by a quick review of the civil 
court docket, lawsuits." (SF Chronicle 7/15/98) Sangiacomo has been 
active in SF real estate for four decades. In the 1970s he responded 
to the debate over rent control by raising tenants' rents by 100%. In 
1995 he was ordered by courts to return $2,68 million in illegal 
tenant sign-up fees to 4,500 renters.

In 1996, Trinity Properties purchased Marina Cove, a 241-unit complex 
on Bay Street. He passed through more than $3 million in renovation 
costs to the tenants. Tenants were hit with a 19.2% rent increase and 
additional 10% increases each year for the next 10 years. According 
to the SF Chronicle, renters had to endure two years of noise and 
decreased service while Sangiacomo made these "improvements." This 
case is an example of how ineffective SF rent control is as it 
relates to capital improvements. Only 100 of the original Marina Cove 
tenants have stayed in the building. Sangiacomo is also responsible 
for forced relocation of tenants and converting vacated units to 
luxury suites.

 From a tenant activist: Angelo Sangiacamo is known as "the father of 
rent control." That's because in the '70s he was jacking the rents up 
on his tenants so severely and frequently that they began to organize 
and this resulted in the passage of 1979's rent control laws.

Trinity contributed $10,500 to Mayor Willie Brown's re-election campaign.

DAVIS PAUL MANAGEMENT
According to tenant activists Davis Paul Management is "buying up the 
Mission" and mistreating tenants while they're at it. There are 
constant problems reported at their buildings. Apparently, they're 
fairly brutal when they take over a building, especially with the 
Spanish-speaking tenants. Tenant activists say that Davis Paul 
employs managers who aren't sympathetic to the tenants, who don't 
provide services even when they get a direct request, and are slow 
and even non-responsive to tenant activists' interventions.

ANTONIO CASTELUCCI / HOME REALTY
They take over a property and launch a variety of strategies to evict 
the tenants. Castelucci owns a number of smaller properties 
throughout San Francisco. Tenant activists say that, for the most 
part, he's a hands-off manager; however the management company he 
employs is fairly callous in dealing with the needs of tenants. When 
they acquire a building, if they discover that a tenant is a 
long-term resident, a common practice is to try to find some way to 
either intimidate the tenant out of the unit or to fabricate a just 
cause to vacate the unit.

SERGIO IANTORNO
Sergio Iantorno owns Realty West and is affiliated with Vanguard Real 
Estate. Tenant activists say that Iantorno is a slumlord; but he is 
more notorious for his real estate speculation, OMIs, Ellis 
evictions, and capital improvement evictions. One of his specialties 
is to evict people temporarily while repair work is being done on a 
building. To get people to move out for a short time, he tells 
tenants they have the right to return. Once the tenants are out of 
the building, he tells them that he's going to evict them if they do 
come back, and pays them small settlements to get them not to return. 
He then turns the building into tenancies-in-common.

According to a tenant activist: Iantorno has a reputation of 
harassing and intimidating his tenants. One story has it that he 
pulled up outside of one of his buildings and sat in a limousine 
staring up at tenants all day long.

HERTH REALTY
See Zephyr real estate. Herth does similar types of evictions. Both 
companies are active in and top donors for funding anti-tenant 
positions in ballot initiative campaigns.

H & H REALTY
Tenant activists say that this company takes advantage of 
undocumented immigrant tenants.

LANDMARK REALTY
Landmark owns small properties in the Mission. It's a one-man 
operation run by Robert Imhoff. Tenant activists say that Imhoff 
often operates in a way that makes you believe that there is no rent 
ordinance in San Francisco. He's very strong-willed. Tenants have 
taken him to the rent board, and he often won't abide by the rent 
ordinance even when confronted with evidence that he's done wrong. 
For example, illegal rent increases. He also has habitability 
problems in some of his buildings.

WEST COAST PROPERTY MANAGEMENT
West Coast is the property management company for the Levinson Family 
Trust. Tenant activists say that in one building in the Mission - a 
27-unit building - they have systematically attempted to intimidate 
the tenants, all of whom are Latino. Many of them are or were 
long-term tenants. The game is to get long-term tenants (whose rents 
tend to be lower) to leave. Among other things, they've attempted 
illegal rent increases, haven't provided proper maintenance for the 
building, have attempted to intimidate tenants into accepting leases 
that they didn't sign and then hold them to the terms of those 
leases. Tenants say that the on-site manager is verbally and 
physically intimidating.

*OTHER PROPERTY MANAGEMENT COMPANIES*
In addition to the companies listed above, there are many other 
property management companies that own AND manage buildings and 
practice either "pretext" evictions or otherwise try to get 
low-income tenants out of their buildings any way they can. These 
companies include MURPHY INVESTMENTS (owned by Bob Murphy, one of our 
Rent Board Commissioners), TCO REALTY, and BARBARY COAST REALTY.

PUBLIC AND SUBSIDIZED HOUSING PROBLEM LANDLORDS:

AIMCO
The Apartment Investment and Management Corporation (AIMCO) is the 
nation's largest private landlord, with 370,000 apartments in the 
United States and Puerto Rico. 90,000 of these units are subsidized 
by the Section 8 housing program to keep them affordable. Only the 
U.S. Housing and Urban Development Department owns more subsidized 
properties than AIMCO.

AIMCO's number one guiding principle is "the low cost operator wins." 
What this means for residents in AIMCO properties is that the company 
spends as little money as it can to maintain its subsidized 
properties. While a tenant's roof is leaking and repair problems go 
unfixed, AIMCO shareholders are laughing themselves to the bank.

The Shoreview Apartments Residents Association in San Francisco filed 
a class-action lawsuit against AIMCO and named HUD as a co-defendant 
for rating AIMCO properties as satisfactory and doing little or 
nothing to help tenants fight the company's refusal to correct unsafe 
living conditions. Tenants of AIMCO-managed Tenderloin buildings for 
disabled and elderly residents (the Alexander Residence and Antonia 
Manor) have joined the suit.

AIMCO is not in the affordable housing business to do a good deed. 
The company is in it to make money. They do this by buying 
low-income, federally subsidized buildings and converting them to 
market rate. In a 1999 letter to AIMCO shareholders, the company's 
chairman wrote, "As we look to 1999 and beyond, we are also buoyed by 
the prospect of numerous redevelopment opportunities in the AIMCO 
portfolio at attractive returns. Redevelopment opportunity is found 
in AIMCO's large portfolio of affordable properties. Many of these 
programs will expire in the next few years and several of these 
properties will be appropriate for profitable redevelopment into 
communities without any government assistance."

Other AIMCO owned and managed properties in the Bay Area include All 
Hallows Gardens, Bayview, and LaSalle. AIMCO managed buildings 
include the Marlton Manor and Maria Manor.

SAN FRANCISCO HOUSING AUTHORITY
Tenant activists say the SF Housing Authority may yet prove to be San 
Francisco's worst evictor. Here's their case: The federal HOPE VI 
program demolishes "blighted" public housing and promises tenants 
that they can move back into beautiful renovated homes and enjoy 
services to aid their transition from welfare-to-work. Sounds great 
but here's the catch. Only Hayes Valley has been reconstructed while 
Bernal Dwellings and Plaza East remain behind schedule with tenants 
dispersed to the four winds of mostly useless Section 8 vouchers. 
North Beach and Valencia Gardens are on the chopping block. Tenants 
at North Beach organized and won an "exit contract" of guaranteed 
re-occupancy - which the Housing Authority and its developer Bridge 
Housing immediately began trying to undo. Seems as if actual promises 
of 1:1 replacement of housing was more than the developer wanted to 
deal with.

On top of this, the SFHA is fond of using "One Strike" evictions 
which throw people out of their homes for the crimes of others. They 
recently decided to implement federal rules that kick out 
undocumented immigrants. The Federal Quality Housing and Work 
responsibility Act mandates that everyone must get kicked out of 
public housing after five years.

To make it worse, it seems as if the SFHA is rife with corruption. 
Two Housing Authority employees were indicted for "selling" 
relocation assistance and Section 8 vouchers. The SFHA seems to want 
to demolish housing then make the tenants pay for the relocation. 
SFHA Director Ronnie Davis is the target of numerous investigations 
alleging that he mismanaged money while directing Cleveland's public 
housing system.

SMALL-TIME SCUM:

ROBERT AND VERA CORT
The Corts are active in residential and commercial real estate. In 
fall of 1999, they bought the Bay View Bank building on Mission at 
22nd Street. They told the building's two dozen tenants - mostly 
small businesses and nonprofit organizations - that their leases 
wouldn't be renewed and that they'd have to be out by June 2000. The 
new tenant was to be Bigstep.com. The Corts are also the landlords 
who whitewashed a 5,000 square foot mural from a building on Harrison 
Street last year, creating an uproar.

The Corts are no gentler with their residential tenants. In 1996, 
they owner move in evicted tenants from two units at 3257 20th 
Street. The tenants sued that October, and the case went to trial in 
1997. Although the parties settled in 1999, a tenant attorney reports 
that Robert Cort Jr., the family member who was supposed to move into 
the premises, has yet to move in.

SUSANNA SHAW
Susanna Shaw owns property in Noe Valley and the Mission. According 
to tenant activists, she became notorious for serial owner move-in 
evictions before small buildings were under rent control. Activists 
say that Shaw is also a slumlord and that she harasses tenants to no 
end. She shows up at the top of the complaint list of local tenant 
rights organizations.

MONICA HUJAZI
Per one tenant activist, Hujazi has court cases a mile long. She is 
somewhat infamous in the SF tenant advocacy community. Tenant 
activists say that she's particularly aggressive and hands-on in 
dealing with her tenants. She's been known to personally enter 
tenants' units to intimidate them.

HERBERT JAFFE
Herbert Jaffe owns Lombard Place, 1320/40/60 Lombard Street. He is 
passing through an $8.4 million capital improvements rent increase to 
his tenants. Each tenant will have to pay approximately $100,000 
additional rent over the next 20 years. These rent increases have 
scared off tenants in 20 of the 69 apartments in the building. 
Meanwhile, it seems like this was a case of deferred maintenance. 
First tenants had to suffer living in a building where the landlord 
didn't make repairs, now they're paying for the deferred maintenance 
- to the tune of $8 million!

Comments from a Lombard Place Apartments tenant: The Lombard Place 
tenants have been served with an $8.6 million capital improvement 
passthrough by our landlord for work done to his property.

The significance of this passthrough to tenants is as follows:

* We tenants are being charged $100,000 each as proportionate shares 
of the total $8.6 million passthrough.

* This means the monthly passthrough amount is $818 over and above 
the monthly rent until paid out.

* This results in a rate of rent increase from 40% to 170% of normal base rent.

* Approximately 28% of the original tenants have vacated since the 
passthrough was presented to us. A few have signed statements citing 
the passthrough as being the reason for leaving.

* Some tenants (1/3 of our building) are long term; some are seniors; 
some are on fixed incomes. These tenants may find the passthrough 
plus rent unaffordable therefore may need to voluntarily self-evict.

* In this way we believe our landlord creates valuable vacancies for 
himself without going through the cost of eviction.

* With the magnitude of the dollar amount of our passthrough, we 
tenants have virtually become silent partners with our landlord 
without the benefit of tax deductions, appreciation, or choice of 
contractors, etc.

* Our landlord, on the other hand, realizes these benefits plus the 
high rental rates of today's market. In our complex, a one bedroom 
rents for approximately $3,000; studio $2500; garage $300; pet/dog 
deposit $1000 plus $50/month and cat $25/month; story $75/month.

* Since there is no limit to the amount of passthroughs a landlord 
can charge tenants, we may face other passthroughs given the volume 
of work done on our buildings, much of which is repairs.

* Does capital improvement passthrough create a situation in which 
the tenant pays for landlord's fixer-uppers? Our landlord knew that 
Lombard Place Apartments were sorely neglected over the years, and he 
passed the repair costs through to us.

* The stress, preparation time involved, and monetary investment 
we've had to deal with in order to fight the capital improvements 
pass through has been enormous. At this point we can only hope to 
reduce our burden by getting some "capital improvements" classified 
as "deferred maintenance."

STEPHEN GIUSTINO
A small-time landlord who was recommended for this list by tenant activists.

ROGER QUIRING
A small-time landlord who was recommended for this list by tenant activists.

LARGE APARTMENT COMPLEXES:

PARK MERCED
Parkmerced is owned by Carmel Development and Management, LLC of 
Denver, a subsidiary of Carmel Companies, Denver and JP Morgan 
Investment Company. The complex is managed by Olympic View Realty, 
LLC of Delaware.

Even factoring in how many units there are, there are a 
disproportionate number of tenant complaints against Parkmerced's 
owners and managers. Tenants say that they manipulate the rent 
control law to give tenants operating and maintenance rent increases 
and will probably try to pass through capital improvement rent 
increases to tenants shortly. They have a zero tolerance policy for 
tenants. For example, they gave a three-day notice (under no pets 
clause in lease) to get rid of a tenant who had goldfish!

Tenant complaints at Parkmerced include: decreased services (less 
garbage pick up, less maintenance and pest control); broken fire 
alarms left inoperative in towers for weeks; leaking roofs, 
unfinished roof insulation; massive tearing up of grounds for pipe 
replacement now at a standstill; stopping monthly rent notices; and 
reduced night time security; giving tenants less than one week to 
sign new leases which are substantially different from the old ones; 
passing through nitpicking utility increases on new leases; and 
limiting tenants' rights to have guests in their own homes. Tenants 
challenged the Parkmerced management for putting unauthorized rent 
increases put on their new leases and won in front of the Rent Board

Additionally, Olympic View Realty was a top soft-money donor to 
Willie Brown's re-election campaign.

A comment from Nancy P., Parkmerced tenant: I live in Parkmerced. 
Parkmerced is unique. It's the largest stock of rental units in San 
Francisco. It was also one of the last stocks of 'affordable units'. 
However, despite San Francisco's 'rent stabilization ordinances', new 
units are now going for pretty close to market rate. It looks like 
our new owners would like to jack up the rents of old tenants, too. 
However, this diverse tenant community of over 3,000 units, 6,000 
working people and families, retired people, and students has 
succeeded in organizing, protesting, and having withdrawn a 
substantial 'operations and maintenance' rent increase petition. 
Unfortunately, a new one will follow within 90 days.

I don't want to pay a rent increase to cover the finance costs of my 
new owners. I don't want to pay one for overdue maintenance and 
inflated operations either. Also, now or in the future, I don't want 
to pay for 'improvements' that have nothing to do with my needs or 
the needs of the majority of the present occupants. I don't want to 
pay for any improvements planned for condominium conversion or new 
condominiums. I can't pay them. You see, like many San Francisco 
tenants, I cannot afford my apartment as it is. So my children and I 
have a student roommate. I like our garden apartment, but if I could 
find cheaper, I would move. But, I can't move: a two bedroom 
elsewhere in San Francisco rents at the double of our three bedroom. 
A one bedroom at Parkmerced is now renting for about the same as our 
three bedroom. We're stuck here, in this apartment. We will have to 
pay the increase our landlords can get authorized by the Rent Board, 
this year and any year they want to petition, or we will be evicted.

I live in Parkmerced but don't know for how much longer. The owners' 
plans for the future don't seem to include tenants like me. They 
tried to evict the Montessori school. They plan to build a huge 
business center and gym. They plan to build condos on vacant land. 
If, in addition, the owners succeed in increasing our rents, our 
diverse community will change like so many others have already 
changed in San Francisco. The moderate income families and 
individuals will have to leave as will many retired people on fixed 
incomes and maybe the students. Where will we go?"

FOX PLAZA
Similar to the antics at Parkmerced. They give rent increases 
whenever possible and try to find the slightest pretext for evicting 
tenants.

OTHER FORCES OF EVIL:

THE DOT.COM PHENOMENA
When landlords evict nonprofits, arts organizations, and long-time 
businesses to make way for dot.com companies that can afford to pay 
exorbitant rents, who's to blame: the dot.coms? The real estate 
developers like Joe O'Donahue and the Information Technology 
Coalition who clear the way for them? The San Francisco political 
establishment that is doing nothing to stop the crisis in the 
commercial and residential real estate markets in San Francisco? As 
far as we're concerned, it's all of the above, and they all come 
under this category of the dot.com phenomena. Dot.coms are the 
leading force in the gentrification of San Francisco. Nonprofits 
including the Eviction Defense Center, Homeless Prenatal Program, 
Legal Assistance for the Elderly, and Housing Rights Committee are 
all being evicted to make way for dot.coms. This is not only a 
problem for the nonprofits; these are the agencies that provide 
services to poor people who are being evicted from their homes. The 
dot.com phenomena also affects residential housing in terms of 
increased property values and land use decisions.

JOE O'DONOGHUE / Residential Builders Association
Joe O'Donoghue is the notorious lobbyist and leader of the 
Residential Builders Association of San Francisco. If one person can 
be blamed for the proliferation of $500,000 live/work lofts in the 
South of market, Mission, and Potrero districts of San Francisco, 
O'Donoghue is the one. Through lobbying and campaign contributions, 
O'Donoghue has ingratiated himself with Mayor Willie Brown and many 
of the members of the SF Board of Supervisors. He also holds great 
sway with the Department of Building Inspection, which he convinced 
to change the building code to allow for the live-work boom.

What's wrong with live-work lofts? Live-work lofts go hand-in-hand 
with the dot.com phenomena described above. They were originally sold 
to the public as spaces that would provide housing to artists who 
were having trouble finding affordable housing in San Francisco. But 
they've actually allowed developers to put up residential 
condominiums on cheap industrial land and sell them at top prices. In 
reality, live-work lofts have resulted in the evictions of many 
artists and nonprofits and long-time businesses-to make way for 
dot.commers!

Live-work lofts have led to the gentrification of neighborhoods like 
the Mission, South of Market, and Potrero. When live-works come into 
the neighborhood, it's an opportunity to upscale the whole 
neighborhood - to evict low-income tenants and bring higher-income 
tenants into all the buildings on the block. And the live-work loft 
developers avoid paying millions of dollars in school and affordable 
housing fees. Unlike other residential housing developers, builders 
of live-work units don't have to set aside a portion of their 
property for affordable housing and open space or meet many disabled 
access requirements. Live-work developers also pay about half what 
other residential builders pay in one-time fees for schools. More 
than 3,300 live-work units have been approved and another 2,200 are 
awaiting the City's go-ahead.

*Joe O'Donoghue has already threatened Andrea Buffa of Media Alliance 
with a lawsuit if his name appears on this list.*

SINGLE-ROOM OCCUPANCY HOTELS
Residential hotels are the housing of last resort for many low-income 
people and thus SRO tenants are open to the most abuse. Problematic 
practices at SROs include musical rooms (tenants are forced to move 
out of a room before they live in that room for 30 days so that the 
tenant doesn't establish tenant rights), an epidemic of hotel fires, 
skyrocketing rents, housing code violations, and unsafe/unsanitary 
living conditions.

BILL TAJKOR
Tenant attorneys say that Tajkor is the worst operator of residential 
hotels in SF. He was running the Mission Hotel when it had all of its 
problems. Tajkor was sued there and at 135 Capp Street. Now he has 
problems at the Kean Hotel on Mission Street. He is also part owner 
of the Justice Hotel on Clay Street. Tenant attorneys say that Tajkor 
doesn't make repairs. He lets things deteriorate. He rents to very 
down and out tenants who aren't likely to file lawsuits against him 
and ruins the neighborhood because his properties are so bad.

FATIMAH SHAIKH
Shaikh owned the King Hotel, which burned down. Shaikh also owns the 
Helen Hotel at 166 Turk Street and has been leasing the Alder Hotel 
on 6th Street. Tenant attorneys say that these hotels are 
dilapidated: bathrooms in these hotels are out of service, there are 
holes in walls, roaches, and mildew, and when things break they don't 
get fixed.

MAX SCHERER
Scherer is the owner of the Julian Hotel in the Mission. Tenants say 
that the 27-room hotel is infested with mice and cockroaches, and the 
SF Department of Public Health recently visited the hotel and found 
evidence of a rodent infestation. On April 20, a housing inspector 
gave the hotel a "poor" rating and cited the owner for numerous 
violations of the housing code. In a recent SF Examiner story about 
the Julian, the reporter wrote, "During an interview in another room 
at the Julian last week, a rat walked across a kitchen table, then 
dropped out of sight behind a stack of papers." According to a tenant 
activist familiar with the Julian, the hotel has been in disrepair 
for years. The tenants are mostly elderly Filipinos and Mexican 
immigrants. Tenant activists say that Scherer has tried to intimidate 
the Spanish-speaking tenants and has threatened to call Immigration 
on them.

EVIL LANDLORD ATTORNEYS:

ANDREW ZACKS
Tenant activists say that Andrew Zacks is a private practice attorney 
who has marketed the Ellis Act as a way to get rid of tenants. He is 
the main lawyer involved in evicting elderly tenants. He also owns 
Ellis buildings and is evicting his own tenants.

Zacks represents the owners of the Hotel Chronicle, a residential 
hotel that is home to 16 tenants, many of whom have lived there for 
decades. The owners are using the Ellis Act to get the tenants out of 
the building, saying that they want to leave the rental business.

Zacks also represents the owners of the Astoria Hotel, a 92-room 
residential hotel that was ordered by the court to stop renting its 
rooms to tourists. In a similar case, Zacks represents owners of the 
Cornell Hotel on Bush Street who want to turn almost half of their 
units from residential units to tourist use. He took their case to 
the Supreme Court. And he represents the owners of the Remo Hotel in 
North Beach who want to convert their hotel to tourist use.

Under the SF Residential Hotel Conversion Ordinance, residential 
hotels can't be converted to tourist hotels without a conditional use 
permit. This ordinance is meant to preserve housing for seniors, 
disabled people, and low-income people.

Background articles on many of these landlords are available at Media 
Alliance, 814 Mission Street, Suite 205, San Francisco, CA.

MEDIA ALLIANCE HOUSING PROJECT




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