Posts Tagged ‘tenant’

Wow, a Master Tenant Tells KQED He Rents Out Room for More Than Allowed by Rent Control – WTF? Plus, a Simple Solution

Thursday, April 3rd, 2014

All right here we go:

In San Francisco, Rooms for $1,000/Month Are Now Scarce - Sam Harnett | April 2, 2014

“Brian Harrigan is on the other side of the equation. He is on the lease of an iconic four-bedroom Victorian in the Lower Haight. He could probably rent the rooms out for as much as $1,500 each, but he doesn’t want to be greedy. At the same time, he said, ‘If I was to rent it out at like $500 I would have hundreds of emails. You would get everyone applying for it, and it wouldn’t be manageable.’ Harrigan recently had a room open up in the apartment and he decided to put it up at $1,000 — about double the rent-controlled rate and $500 below what he could have charged. Even with the inflated price, he received about 50 applications for the one room.”

What what what – the rent for the room is “about double the rent-controlled rate?”

Non non non! You can’t do it that way in SF.

Here are the three rules, IIRC:

1. Total rent paid by the subtenants may not exceed the rent paid by the master tenant to the landlord.

2. Rent paid by subtenants to the master must be proportional to the total rent – so if the rent controlled rate is for a two-bedroom is $1000 per month to the landlord and the master and sub each share 50-50 (like the rooms and everything else are identical) then the rent charged to the sub should be $500, or close enough to $500.

3. The rent paid by the master to the landlord shall be disclosed in writing to the sub before the sub moves in in the first place.

Those are the rules – live it love it learn it.

Now, can a subtenant get back money from the master if the rent charged is deemed to be disproportionate? Hell yes, going back years.

So is it wise to tell KQED how you set the rate for a room in rent-controlled San Francisco if you’re not sure you’re doin it right? No.

So what should master tenants do then? ‘Cause if you advertise a room for $400 a month on craigslist the world will beat a path to your door, right?

Here’s what you do, you figure what the rent should be for a room but you keep it a secret at first. Then you advertise the room at a market rate, $1400, whatever – and that will cut down on the riff-raff, that will avoid a 50-person beauty contest from every state in the nation, right? And then after you pick somebody to be your new roomie, then comes The Reveal, which is actually the rent is only $400 a month are you cool with that. And it will be, I guarantee it.

What’s that, this strategy isn’t for you because ____? Well all right, have it your way. But just make sure* you split the rent proportionally, that’s what I’m saying.

*Heavy is the head what wears the master tenant crown, right? Of course, there are pros and cons to being a master tenant in rent controlled SF – it’s not for everyone. 

1049 Market Street Tenants Win a Reprieve in Their Mass Eviction – Presser at City Hall Today at 4:30 PM

Wednesday, February 19th, 2014

Word comes from tommi avicolli mecca:

“FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

1049 Market STREET Tenants Win a Reprieve in Their Mass Eviction

San Francisco – Tenants of 1049 Market, who are facing eviction at the hands of a landlord wanting to turn their live/work apartments into office spaces, will be holding a press conference today at 4:30pm on the steps of City Hall (Polk Street side) to announce that they have won another reprieve in their battle to stay in their homes. Their landlord has withdrawn his appeal of the suspension of THE permit that would have allowed him to demolish their apartments and evict them.

The appeal on that suspension was scheduled to be heard today at the Board of Appeals at 5pm.

Officials of the Department of Building Inspections (DBI) suspended the permit after a walk through of the building. DBI officials DETERMINED that they had discretion in requiring the landlord to install light wells, a very expensive renovation, to fix a major code violation cited in a 2007 Notice of Violation: the lack of natural light in some of the apartments. Other violations are minor and can be easily addressed by the owner.

Tenants received eviction notices last September, but with the help of Housing Rights Committee, legal support from Tenderloin Housing Clinic and the involvement of Supervisor Jane Kim and DBI, they organized to stay in their homes and fight back.

“It’s a clear victory for us tenants,” said 1049 Market resident Marcele Wilson, “This is about evicting working-class tenants and artists so that they can convert our apartments into offices and cash in on the mid-Market tech boom. But these are our homes, we’re not leaving.”

Tenants will be on hand for interviews today at 4:30pm.”

What’s This, the NeMA Building Version of The Bachelor? Software-American Kyle Zink Stars in Unusual WSJ Ad

Friday, January 10th, 2014

Here it is, writer Sarah Tilton’s latest in the Wall Street Journal:

How Techies Are Transforming San Francisco - A generation of technology workers is bringing startups, venture capitalists—and high real-estate prices.”

And here’s a Dewar’s Profile of a NeMa Building resident who doesn’t seem embarrassed to live there.

Kicking it on the rooftop with a nice mug of Smitten Brand Ice Cream no doubt:

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Let’s All Welcome the New Converse Shoe Store to the Mid Market

Monday, July 8th, 2013

Or Union Square, or Lower Market, or North of Market, or the greater Twitterloin, or whathaveyou:

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It’s like NikeTown but for shoes!

All the deets

OMG, Canon Business Solutions is Coming to the Financh! 10,000 Square Feet at 201 California – Almost Open

Monday, August 27th, 2012

Well, check out the new signs at the corner of California and Front:

Canon Takes 10,300 SF at 201 CaliforniaGlenborough LLC found a retail tenant to fill the vacant ground floor space at 201 California St. in San Francisco. Canon Business Solutions Inc. will occupy 10,283 square feet upon completion of tenant improvements. The 17-story, Class A office property totals 239,342 square feet in the financial district. Jessica Birmingham and Rhonda Diaz Caldewey of Terranomics represented the landlord for the retail portion of the building, while Canon Business Solutions was represented by Michael Taquino of Grubb & Ellis.”

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Oh, and speaking of companies what make cameras and whatnot, which version of Stanfoo-educated TerrorNomics deal broker Jessica Birmingham do you prefer?

Magenta?

Or not magenta?

You make the call.

Anyway, let’s all thank Canon for making the Financh look less like an arrested-decay ghost town during this Great Recession…

Jackson Street Update: “The North Beach Police Department is 8 Blocks Away, You and Your Vehicle are Being Monitored…”

Wednesday, January 4th, 2012

As seen on Jackson:

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Thanks for the update, fretful tenant.

Jesus Tap-Dancing Christ: More Money Laundering Found in Ed Lee Campaign – Meet CitiApartments’ “Eviction Goon”

Wednesday, November 2nd, 2011

[UPDATE: Senator Leland Yee is on the case this AM – he’s doing a presser involving this latest allegation. (I guess it’s too late to call this an October Surprise, and frankly, it’s not all that surprising neither. Let’s call it a November Expectation. Brace yourself for more.) Oh, and Leland is onto some Chinatown voting sting operation as well.

And there’s this: “Statement from Chiu Campaign on Money Laundering Allegations - SAN FRANCISCO (November 2, 2011): Addisu Demissie, spokesman for the David Chiu for Mayor campaign, released the following statement about a San Francisco Chronicle report of potential money laundering by supporters of Mayor Ed Lee:

“This is now the fourth allegation of illegal conduct by Mayor Lee’s supporters, and it should be investigated fully by the District Attorney and appropriate authorities,” Demissie said. “With six days to go before Election Day, it will be up to the voters to decide whether this kind of bullying, pay-to-play politics is what they want to see at City Hall for the next 4 years. David is going to spend the last 6 days of this race talking about why he represents a new generation of leadership for San Francisco that will stand tough against the special interests and shake things up at City Hall.

Paid for by David Chiu for Mayor 2011, P.O. Box 641541, San Francisco, CA 94164, FPPC##1337108]

Well, it looks like early-rising City Attorney Dennis Jose Herrera is the first one out of the gates to follow up on today’s piece from San Francisco Chronicle Staff Writers John Coté and Heather Knight.

Testify, DJH:

“Too many of Ed Lee’s supporters act as though they’re above the law — on money laundering, on ballot tampering, and more – and Ed Lee isn’t strong enough to stop it.

Amen.

Earlier this year, Ed Lee was picked unanimously to be an Interim Mayor. He wasn’t picked to be a Reformer. He’ll never be a Reformer.

In Ed Lee’s world, the notorious Willie Brown Administration deserves an A+, Rose Pak is not a cancer on Chinatown, and corner-cutting PG&E (“KABOOM!“) is simply “a great local corporation” and a “great company that gets it.”

Oh well.

Is Ed Lee Breaking Bad? Has the City Family corrupted him? Or has he corrupted the City Family? A little of both?

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All the deets:

“Herrera calls on FPPC to join D.A. in investigating new Ed Lee campaign money laundering charge - CitiApartments’ former eviction goon led reimbursement-for-donation scheme, suggesting political payback for City Attorney’s 2006 tenant-protection lawsuit

SAN FRANCISCO (Nov. 2, 2011) — City Attorney Dennis Herrera this morning called on the state Fair Political Practices Commission to join District Attorney George Gascón in reviewing new allegations reported in today’s San Francisco Chronicle that Ed Lee’s mayoral campaign received donations that appear to have been illegally laundered to skirt San Francisco $500 per donor contribution maximum.[1] Andrew Hawkins, a property services manager whose harrowing tenant intimidation tactics were central to Herrera’s lawsuit five years ago against the Lembi Group landlords’ once high-rolling CitiApartments empire, promised reimbursements to at least sixteen employees in exchange for maximum contributions to Ed Lee’s mayoral campaign at an Oct. 18, 2011 fundraiser, according to the Chronicle.

It is the second major allegation of campaign money laundering to benefit Ed Lee’s campaign. The first, involving GO Lorrie’s airport shuttle, is the subject of separate investigations by Gascón’s office and the FPPC, the state commission responsible to investigate and impose penalties for violations of the California Political Reform Act. Such schemes have been prosecuted as felonies in California for conspiring to evade campaign contribution limits, and for making campaign contributions under false names.

I think San Franciscans have now seen enough,” said City Attorney Dennis Herrera. “Too many of Ed Lee’s supporters act as though they’re above the law — on money laundering, on ballot tampering, and more — and Ed Lee isn’t strong enough to stop it. If this is how they behave before an election, just imagine how they’ll behave after the election, if Ed Lee wins. This scheme is clearly a bid for political payback by CitiApartments henchmen for my litigation to protect tenants five years ago. It is patently illegal, and I call on the FPPC to join the District Attorney in investigating.”

Hawkins is listed in Ed Lee’s campaign disclosures as the owner of Archway Property Services. As the one-time head of CitiApartments’ “tenant relocation program,” the gun-carrying Hawkins is reported to have coerced more than 2,500 tenants out of their rent-controlled units, and once boasted in civil court testimony, “I run people out of their apartments for a living. It’s what I do.

Several recipients of Hawkins’ email invitation to an Oct. 18 event on Russian Hill made contributions to Ed Lee’s campaign on the same date. All contributed the maximum $500.

Herrera sued the CitiApartments residential rental property behemoth in Aug. 2006 for an array of unlawful business and tenant harassment practices, which sought to dispossess long-term residents of their rent-controlled apartments. The coerced vacancies freed the company to make often-unpermitted renovations to units, and then re-rent them to new tenants at dramatically increased market rates. The illegal business model enabled CitiApartments, Skyline Realty and other entities under the sway of real estate family patriarch Frank Lembi to aggressively outbid competitors for residential properties throughout San Francisco for several years — before lawsuits and a sharp economic downturn forced the aspiring empire into bankruptcies, foreclosures and receiverships.

A 2009 San Francisco Magazine feature story on the Lembi real estate empire[2] described Andrew Hawkins as “a burly former nightclub bouncer who headed up CitiApartments’ relocation program.” Hawkins reportedly led teams as large as 14 full-time employees, according to the report, and the company estimated that “Hawkins relocated more than 2,500 tenants.” An earlier exposé in 2006 by the San Francisco Bay Guardian[3] cited civil court testimony in which Hawkins boasted to one tenant’s family member, “I run people out of their apartments for a living. It’s what I do.”

# # #

SOURCES:
[1] Source: “Ed Lee donors face money-laundering allegations” by John Coté and Heather Knight, San Francisco Chronicle, Nov. 2, 2011, http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2011/11/02/MNKJ1LOMB7.DTL
[2] Source: “War of values” by Danelle Morton, San Francisco Magazine, Nov. 19, 2009, http://www.modernluxury.com/san-francisco/story/war-of-values
[3] Source: “The Scumlords: Part One of a Three-Part Series” by G.W. Schulz, San Francisco Bay Guardian, March 8, 2006, http://www.sfbg.com/40/23/news_skyline.html

San Francisco’s Ambassador Hotel: “Attractive Rates, Drive-In Garage” – But Now It’s an SRO

Tuesday, October 11th, 2011

As seen in the Tenderloin:

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This place is four-star rated on the Yelp. Per Shawn M:

THIS IS AN SRO HOTEL. DO NOT TRY TO CHECK IN FOR THE NIGHT, IT IS A RESIDENTIAL HOTEL.

I moved into the Ambassador Hotel in 2003 right after the remodel. the place had been considered a real dump before TNDC bought it and brought it up to code. there is a services pavilion, including a tv for residents who can not afford one, but more importantly, there are counselors who help residents not just with benefits management and counseling, they also are willing to just lend an ear when the desolate come to them. i suspect TNDC has a christian spirit somewhere on their board. :)

The Ambassador, and more broadly, the TNDC, supplies low income housing, so the tenancy is always a mixed bag. since most of the residents are poor and many of them suffer the ills that come with poverty, dont be surprised to see the meat wagon there a couple times a month.

The hotel is located in what was then the worst part of “The ‘Loin”, but was a far cry from my time at the Aranda, right around the corner, which had not been remodeled at that time. there is a maintenance crew on site every day, and the place is clean and “problems” are handled promptly.

When i lived there, the manageress was named Gabriella Desmond, and she turned tricks in her office and denied my application for one of the accessible rooms (about a dozen out of 134 if memory serves). i got a doctors letter explaining why i need an accessible room, and she said she would put me “on the waiting list”, but mustve been too busy doing her drugs to actually do it, because i began to see able-bodied people assigned to the accessible rooms. even tho i was supposed to be “on the waiting list” for the limited number of accessible rooms.

Anyways i heard they got rid of her, and may try to get back in now that the wicked witch is gone (but not dead).”

Ok then.

Wafflemania Sweeps Over Golden Gate Park – Available at the Music Concourse Wed-Sun

Friday, July 30th, 2010

Per the SFRecParkGM, you ought to check out the new waffle truck in GGP:

Just ate lunch at Wafflemania, Rec and Park’s new food concession in music concourse. Mmmmm. Waffles. Check it out. Get out and Play!”

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Thee deets:

“The Waffle Truck is now in Golden Gate Park adjacent to the Japanese Tea Garden Wed-Sun 10-5. Other times /places still apply”

After all, We Must Have Waffles.

Revenge of the Subtenant – Rent Board Requires Master Tenant to Refund $10,800

Thursday, January 14th, 2010

Here’s the thing – if you’re renting a place in San Francisco and you’re paying your monthly rent to your roommate, chances are that you could be considered a subtenant and your roomy the “Master Tenant.”* Particularly when the rent for your unit is way undermarket, due to rent control let’s say, you might end up spending more for your space than the Master pays for the Master’s part of the apartment.

So if you’re paying $900 a month for your half of  a two-bedroom and your Master Tenant in the other room is only kicking in $100 (to pay $1000 total to the landlord for the whole place), then you can take steps to get some of that money back and lower your rent to boot.

“A subtenant who believes he or she is paying more than a proportional share of the total rent may file a Tenant Petition against the master tenant on that basis. If the subtenant prevails, the Administrative Law Judge will adjust the rent to the proportional share and order the master tenant to refund any rent overpayments.”

Is this a perfect system? No, but it’s what you end up with when your city has rent control.

Your San Francisco Rent Board just dealt with a subtenant/Master Tenant proportionality case. The names of the people involved aren’t important, but the situation is noteworthy, IMO. Let’s check it out.

Now, if you don’t like how the Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) dealt with your case with your roomie, you can appeal to the board. As here, from the meeting of August 4, 2009:

The subtenant’s petition alleging that he paid a disproportional share of the rent pursuant to Rules ß6.15C(3) was granted and the Master Tenant was found liable to the subtenant in the amount of $10,800.00. On appeal, the Master Tenant alleges that he was unaware of the requirement that the amount of rent paid must be proportional; that the decision will present him with a financial hardship; and that the subtenant is going to be evicted due to his uncooperative behavior. 

MSC: To deny the appeal on substantive grounds but remand the case for a hearing on the Master Tenant’s claim of financial hardship. (Gruber/Crow: 5-0)”

See? The sub won big-time, to the tune of five figures because the rent split determined by the Master Tenant wasn’t proportional according to a judge and the full board.

But the master came back to say the ruling would be a hardship for him. From the meeting of November 17, 2009:

The subtenant’s petition alleging that he paid a disproportionate share of the rent was granted and the Master Tenant was found liable to the subtenant in the amount of $10,800.00.  The Master Tenant’s hardship appeal was granted and remanded for hearing.  In the remand decision, the ALJ finds sufficient hardship to order a repayment plan in the amount of $150.00 per month.  The Master Tenant again appeals, claiming that even the reduced amount will cause him severe hardship and possibly result in both tenants’ eviction from the premises.

MSC: To deny the appeal.  (Mosbrucker/Gruber:  5-0)”

Is this what you might call a Phyric victory? Maybe. It’s probably too early to tell. Oh well.  

Check the San Francisco Rent Board website for deets on the rules, or see you after the jump.

*The County of Los Angeles doesn’t want to buy equipment that has the term “master” written anywhere on it, like on a hard drive, a DVD burner or a brake cylinder. But in San Francisco, we freely label people “Master Tenants.” It’s our thing. 

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