Here in San Francisco, one of the largest owners of apartment buildings is outfit that goes by various names, though all appear to be owned by the same entity: Skyline Realty. Working as a tenant's attorney for the past couple of years, I've heard them associated with some unsavory practices when it comes to evictions. However, it appears that today, Skyline finally pushed their tenants too far.
According to this story in the San Francisco Chronicle, Skyline Realty, its subsidiary CitiApartments, and one of its employees has been sued by 23 of its tenants alleging that Skyline uses intimidation, including armed men, to force tenants to give up their leases. The suit alleges that when Skyline, which is alleged to be merely an alter ego of the Lembi family, buys a new building it conducts sweeps to eliminate tenants that do not fit its "profile".
If it turns out to be true, this will be a huge case. If you want to read the complaint, it is here on the San Francisco Superior Court's website (or go to sftc.org and look for case CGC-06-451694).
Treble damages for unlawful evictions are a good thing.
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