Only 19 out of 482 cities in California protect tenants against rent hikes and arbitrary evictions. That means most of California’s tenants can be evicted for no reason at all, and can have their rents raised by any amount their landlord wants.
That’s why tenants are rising up across the state to win Rent Control for All!Learn about the 18 cities in California that have protections for tenants!
Urban Green gained notoriety in 2013 by evicting Mary Elizabeth Phillips from her home of 40 years on 55 Dolores Street through its Dolores Street, LLC. Urban Green Investments is a San Francisco Multi-family portfolio: 385 units over fifteen buildings. In July 2012 UGI picked up a 12-building multifamily portfolio for $38 Million cash from Prana Investments. Run by David McCloskey, they are a subsidiary of Cornerstone Holdings, based in Colorado.
Sean Whelan, now of Tahoe City is another client of eviction attorney Andrew Zacks. He has evicted, bought out, harassed or condoized the homes of numerous San Francisco residents. He is a classic property flipper. He has evicted at least 18 units. Whelan has partnered in his real estate ventures with tech executives Rob Krolik (Yelp) and and odd Trippany (Domo, Adobe).
Shelley Trew, of Vanguard Reality, has been accused by protestors of “fraud, elder abuse, and greed” for coercing the 76-year-old owner of the house at 117 Ripley Street into signing over the rights to her family home in 2013.
The Taplins are associated with at least 555 Oakland evictions under numerous LLCs. Albert Russell Taplin is an inactive attorney who was placed on probation by the CA State Bar in in 1995. His son Riaz joined him in the real estate business while in high school, focusing on the “ultra-luxury San Francisco real estate market.” Later Riaz “set forth to transform the dilapidated buildings” of Oakland, and now manage over 800 apartments in the east bay, with a “core competency in multi-family re-positioning.”
Gianmatteo Costanza, David Fuchs, and Andrew Swerdlow evicted a senior and/or disabled tenant in San Francisco. All are in tech, working for companies such as Google, Seamless Planet, and Youtube.
Using a number of aliases and family members to do OMI (Owner Move In) evictions on multiple properties, she is also known to threaten, harass, turn of water, cut lines, create "House Rules", install security cameras to put tenants under surveillance, and violate building codes.
Bonnie K. Spindler is the "Victorian Specialist" at Zephyr Real Estate, where she brags about her forte of flipping units. She has Ellised numerous buildings in San Francisco.
The three founders--Kurt C. McCracken, Peter D. Larsen, and Richard Esposito-- of PRANA Investments LLC is associated with close to a 1000 evictions and over a 150 unlawful detainers in Oakland, Ca. As noted on the Prana Investments website, the company specializes in acquiring "underperforming" multi-family properties in New York City, Los Angeles and San Francisco.
After inheriting a building in North Beach from her aunt, filled with elderly tenants who had lived there, and cared for the owner in her final years, Ana Paganini invoked the Ellis Act on the tenants, many of which had been there for 20 years or more, and were elderly. As a researcher on a project getting public funding from the National Institute on Aging, it is ironic that Paganini is oblivious to the stress of displacement on the elderly. 78 year old Elaine Turner passed away during the eviction.
Note: There are two people named Fergus O'Sullivan in San Francisco. The Fergus O'Sullivan of Fosco.biz is not an evictor.
The other Fergus O'Sullivan is President at FOS COMPANY. He manages a number of LLCs. andis notorious for using various tools to displace tenants - Ellis evictions, OMI, renovictions, buy-outs and threats. He lists at least one of the units at an address that he displaced tenants through an OMI eviction on AirBnb, and has offered many of his properties as short term rentals at other times.
Matthew Miller may have only filed two Ellis Acts through his 1506 Jackson LLC and his 32 Varennes LLC in San Francisco, but his most recent one which displaced the Lee family from the upper Polk Gulch area garnered international attention in its insidiousness.
Partnering with Ellis Act specialist and Zephyr real estate agent Bonnie Spindler, Arnie Levinson displaced tenants in 6 units in 2007, and then went on to Ellis another 7 units a few years later with his wife, the "parlor opera diva" Elizabeth O'Neill.
In its previous incarnation as CitiApartments and Lembi properties, this San Francisco company made headlines with “a stunning array of unlawful business and tenant harassment practices” during the lawsuit and subsequent injunction obtained by City Attorney Herrera. After paying bloated prices - sometimes 16x the asking price, the Lembi empire would dispatch armed security guards to harass tenants in order to scare them out of their rent-controlled apartments. Tactics included breaking into apartments, shutting off utilities, changing locks, and retaliating against those who refuse to take buy-outs.. By 2011, the vast Lembi empire was in default. LNR, a subsidiary of the Lennar Company, acquired and resold the Lembi properties to investment groups such as Prado Group, Area Property Partners, Woodmont Company, and CIM Group. Many of the former Lembi properties are now controlled by Veritas LLC, San Francisco’s biggest landlord.