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Thursday, January 28, 2010

So Your Landlord's Got a Knife. Well, Get in Line and Take a Number.

Posted By on Thu, Jan 28, 2010 at 7:30 AM

click to enlarge 'No more loud parties down there in Apartment 3B, dammit!'
  • 'No more loud parties down there in Apartment 3B, dammit!'
Yesterday we reported on a loud landlord-tenant dispute (normal) that culminated with the landlord allegedly wielding a "large kitchen knife," threatening to kill the tenant, and getting arrested (not so normal).

San Francisco Tenants Union head Ted Gullicksen agrees that you don't see that everyday. But, then again, you're not him. And he sees stuff like this more often than you'd think.

Asking Gullicksen -- who's been doing this since 1988 -- for his best "crazy landlord stories" would be like asking Wilt Chamberlain about the most flexible women he's met. But a few extreme cases do stick out in his mind:

  • And, finally, who could forget San Francisco's "landlords from hell," accused of, among other transgressions, hacking the joists supporting a tenant's floor, hacking a tenant's e-mail account, breaking into their tenants' apartments, stealing things, and dousing tenants' property with ammonia (but no blood and feces).
These are the highlights -- or lowlights -- on the tip of Gullicksen's tongue. What happens more often than knife- or feces-wielding landlords are landlords who walk right into renters' apartments and think nothing of it. "We get a real steady stream of people who are pretty severely harassed by their landlords, who walk in in the middle of the night or while [tenants] are in the shower," says Gullicksen. The law, by the way, requires a 24-hour advance notice in writing.

"A few weeks ago, a landlord set up a Webcam in a tenant's apartment. And when the tenant turned it off, the landlord came in the apartment and threatened the tenant physically," claimed Gullicksen.

Of cousre, that incident didn't make the police report. Gullicksen said the cops were called -- but refused to take any action.

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About The Author

Joe Eskenazi

Joe Eskenazi

Bio:
Joe Eskenazi was born in San Francisco, raised in the Bay Area, and attended U.C. Berkeley. He never left. "Your humble narrator" was a staff writer and columnist for SF Weekly from 2007 to 2015. He resides in the Excelsior with his wife, 4.3 miles from his birthplace and 5,474 from hers.

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