A poorly cared for residential hotel doesn’t listen to the residents demands for issues to be addressed.
The tenants then brought up a lawsuit against the Landlord and won a $185,000 settlement.
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Turk St. Tenants Win Big Lawsuit against Landlord
After suing their landlord in 1986 for numerous health code violations like rats, mice, lack of hot water, and leaky plumbing, 14 tenants of a Turk Street apartment building won a November 1988 out-of-court settlement of more than $185,000.
They were represented in the suit by the Tenderloin Housing Clinic. A number of low-income Southeast Asian tenants shared in the settlement.
The building, the address of which is being withheld at the request of the tenants and their representative, was among the worst in the Tenderloin when the Times investigated it two years ago. Problems at that time included hundreds of rats and mice, no front gate lock, and rampant drug dealing and drug use, including a drug overdose death in the lobby.
One of the originators of the suit told the Times that tenants first decided to take action after a fire in the building. “Three of us started knocking on doors,” he said. “I took everybody to Burger King and said ‘Let’s talk about the problems.” He said the group wrote a letter to the landlords, outlining a proposed solution and giving them a limited amount of time to respond. At that time, they were only asking for a rent rebate.
When asked his advice to other Tenderloin tenants facing similar situations, he said, “Get some good sound legal advice and go after the suckers.” He urged people not to take it out on the building itself as that only worsens the situation.