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Tenants sue East Palo Alto's biggest landlord

Original post made on Apr 30, 2014

Two renters and a family member are suing Equity Residential for maintaining dangerous conditions that resulted in severe mental distress and assaults that caused injuries and forced them to vacate the property, according to a lawsuit filed in San Mateo County Superior Court on April 28.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Wednesday, April 30, 2014, 9:58 AM

Comments (17)

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Posted by Senior senior
a resident of Crescent Park
on Apr 30, 2014 at 10:34 am

Please publish the names of persons owning this landlord/company. That is one way to put a stop to this kind of stuff.


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Posted by
a resident of East Palo Alto
on Apr 30, 2014 at 10:49 am

His Name is Sam Zell @Senior Senior


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Posted by Lack of Educated People Leads to Abuse
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Apr 30, 2014 at 11:10 am

@EPA: The email address you posted is incorrect format for an email address. Are there no spaces in between words or are there underscores? Are letters supposed to be capitalized or all lower case?


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Posted by Raymond
a resident of East Palo Alto
on Apr 30, 2014 at 11:18 am

I live @ Woodland Park Apts. I can testify to Equity's indifference. 2021 Euclid Ave. Apt D; 94303.


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Posted by Ha
a resident of Midtown
on Apr 30, 2014 at 11:27 am

@Lack: that wasn't an email address EPA was responding to "Senior senior."


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Posted by Huh?
a resident of another community
on Apr 30, 2014 at 11:32 am

Why would anyone stay in those conditions? Is rent really that cheap? How about Mountain View or Redwood City, San Jose, or the East Bay?


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Posted by Not kidding around
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Apr 30, 2014 at 1:37 pm

Contrary to popular beliefs, slum lords still prevail in Palo Alto, E. Palo Alto and most all the surrounding cities............AND they have the right to kick you out on a whim, leaving you to find new housing within a very short period of time if you don't like their tactics. They ignore you, lie to you and smile in your face. Being a renter in the Bay Area is difficult~I try to fix things myself if at all possible just to keep them at bay. And I am a 70 year old woman....


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Posted by Hmmm
a resident of East Palo Alto
on Apr 30, 2014 at 1:54 pm

Hmmm is a registered user.

Not Kidding Around - in E. Palo Alto, tenants can, and successfully do, fight landlords over many, many problems. Unfortunately, the surrounding cities still see tenants as less important than property owners, so they have fewer rights than we do in E. Palo Alto. We have a wonderful program that helps tenants, which is run by the city, as well as Community Legal Services of East Palo Alto, and the Stanford Law Clinic (I have have their updated name wrong).


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Posted by Hmmm
a resident of East Palo Alto
on Apr 30, 2014 at 1:54 pm

Hmmm is a registered user.

Not Kidding Around - in E. Palo Alto, tenants can, and successfully do, fight landlords over many, many problems. Unfortunately, the surrounding cities still see tenants as less important than property owners, so they have fewer rights than we do in E. Palo Alto. We have a wonderful program that helps tenants, which is run by the city, as well as Community Legal Services of East Palo Alto, and the Stanford Law Clinic (I have have their updated name wrong).


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Posted by Roger
a resident of Evergreen Park
on May 1, 2014 at 9:34 am

I am sorry but having been an apartment manager I know that this isn't the whole story here, its too one sided. No question there are slum landlords, is this one, not from what I am reading.
What I see is a litigious legal firm getting involved and suing for a ridiculous sum of money from a deep pocket source.
Oh yeah sorry I forgot, this is America.


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Posted by Hmmm
a resident of East Palo Alto
on May 1, 2014 at 1:01 pm

Hmmm is a registered user.

Roger - you're incorrect. The lead agency, Community Legal Services of East Palo Alto, is not money hungry at all. They're a nonprofit. They would only get this other firm involved if they felt that they had a solid case, as they're not big risk takers for the fun of it. Firms know how hard it is to take on a giant corporation with attorneys on retainer. If this suit is won, it's likely to be appealed, so it's hard to say how much money the firm would get.

I well recall that this house hasn't been kept up in years, from the scurrilous Page Mill Properties times, to the present. The gate in question is highly problematic - one can clearly see that it hasn't worked properly for ages. EQR/Woodland Park *are* slumlords in many cases, if they think that they can get away with it.

These tenants didn't have to be perfect to have a solid legal case. From what I know, this is what's happened with the property:

Page Mill Properties buys the place, does a bit of cosmetic work, rents it out. When these tenants moved in, there may or may not have been cosmetic work done, but the fixes in place were temporary, which wasn't obvious to the tenants. Then while living there they discover these other problems - which never get taken care of. The serious things ensue - the adults have all been injured.

The current EQR scheme is to rent to people with promises of what will be ready for move in, then those promises aren't kept. Pest problems aren't revealed, and many temporary measures are taken, only to have the problems return. As for the past scurrilous landlords, I've seen their cosmetic "improvements" literally fall apart within a year or two. I've been in the homes of enough EQR tenants to have seen this myself. I've also seen some of the crappy products EQR uses in its "upgrades" and some of it's laughable.

And as for it being one-sided, EQR didn't comment, so of course the plaintiffs side is what is available to the media. Regardless, it's very serious stuff. EQR just lost in court recently in SJ, too.

As you know, a plaintiff doesn't have to be a saint to prevail in court. This isn't a bid to sainthood, it's a legal action not lightly taken by a nonprofit because what's happened to the plaintiffs is so bad, legal remedies are necessary.

Also, the SJ Mercury News wrote an article as well, which has additional info to this article. Web Link


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Posted by Roger
a resident of Evergreen Park
on May 1, 2014 at 1:23 pm

Page Mill properties may well have sucked, but for me when you sue for millions its just nonsense, and you know that too.


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Posted by Neighbors Helping Neighbors
a resident of Midtown
on May 1, 2014 at 1:52 pm

Dear Friends & Neighbors,
There are resources for our Palo Alto "neighbors in need" (middle to low income)who are renters. If you are a renter in Palo Alto and Mountain View and need guidance and help to navigate services, please contact us...

Or if you are currently a home-owner or renter living in a dwelling and can no longer pay for your basic needs (food, housing & transportation), please call or email us...

NeighborsHelpingNeighbors2013@gmail.com
Phone: 650-283-0270
P.O. BOX 113
Palo Alto, CA 94302
FACEBOOK: Web Link


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Posted by Aquamarine
a resident of Stanford
on May 1, 2014 at 2:45 pm

Suing for millions makes sense, given the injuries sustained, the resulting permanent injury(ies)/trauma, the amount of time they endured the conditions and how long the landlord was negligent. The amount they're asking may not be granted.

CLSEPA has some excellent attorneys and Stanford should be proud of its affiliation.


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Posted by Retired Staffer
a resident of another community
on May 1, 2014 at 9:25 pm

This is Sam Zell's mobile home REIT.
Web Link


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Posted by Hmmm
a resident of East Palo Alto
on May 6, 2014 at 11:58 am

Hmmm is a registered user.

Zell is a monied thug. The lawsuits against him tell that story. The untold story is about those too scared to take legal action.


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Posted by Hmmm
a resident of East Palo Alto
on Jun 5, 2014 at 12:10 am

Hmmm is a registered user.

Sue Dremman - I hope that you can keep us all updated on what happens with this lawsuit.

For further reference, someone recently sent me this articles:
Web Link


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