Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Ahh yes, tenants getting evicted finally makes the news

So, as I am waiting for my car to be fixed, I read about what is going on over in Oakland at the Amber Tree Gardens apartment complex. Apparently, the city has shut it down as a nuisance.

And the Chronicle noticed for once. Good job. Where was the Chronicle the other times that tenants were being wronfully evicted by the banks? Or other slum lords. Apparently, it requires a fire truck to merit the attention of the Chronicle.

But I am reading some of the comments by the tenants. They are complaining that they do not get to go home. Fair. But why have they let this go on for so long? I understand that not everyone wants to be involved in a lawsuit, but if the conditions there were as bad as the article indicates, I have to wonder how anyone could live there that long and not stand up for themselves. Why weren't the tenants not more proactive about getting the city involved or getting a lawyer in there to sue whoever this slumlord is? And why wasn't the city noticing this before if they were?

Anyone there needs an attorney to handle their affirmative suit? I can give you a list or an introduction to a whole bunch of them (I can understand if you don't want me to represent you for calling you a bunch of sheep). The City Attorney, being the one who initiated the legal end of the process, seems to feel like they done enough for now by evicting everyone.

Of course, this being Oakland, I am sure that the city is going to completely muck this thing up. The last time they went after a slumlord was when the Oakland City Attorney's Office went after JP Morgan bank. JP Morgan was wrongfully evicting tenants from their apartments when the buildings went into foreclosure. This was not just one or two people. This was a case of dozens of wrongful evictions. They settled the case. For $35,000.00. Total.

And this was hailed as an example of landlord wrongdoers stepping up and the City of Oakland being tough. Excuse me? No mention of people getting their homes back. No mention of people getting compensated for landlord wrongdoing. JP Morgan paying $35,000 advertises on their website as having $2.1 trillion in assets. That would be akin to fining me a 1¢.

As a matter of fact, I'm not even sure that $35,000.00 would cover the hourly that went into that case.

So yeah, if you think Oakland is going to serve you by protecting your interests a citizen, it looks like you are in a for a rude awakening. When it comes to tenants, the City of Oakland seems to be more interested in looking good, than doing good.

But who knows, maybe City Attorney Russo will surprise me. I'm not going to hold my breath.

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