Town Square

'Landlords from hell' plead guilty in four felony counts

Original post made on Jun 20, 2013

A husband and wife dubbed the "landlords from hell" for a series of escalating actions and threats made against their tenants in a San Francisco apartment building several years ago have pleaded guilty to multiple felony charges, prosecutors said June 19.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Thursday, June 20, 2013, 9:19 AM


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Posted by Enough!
a resident of Charleston Gardens
on Jun 20, 2013 at 10:51 am

Glad they are being held accountable. There are many slumlords in Palo Alto too.

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Posted by Hmmm
a resident of East Palo Alto
on Jun 20, 2013 at 11:52 am

These landlords were amateurs in how to manage property but sociopaths when it came to their interpersonal dealings. I wonder what the cost has been to the city & state to deal w/these horrible people?

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Posted by Bart
a resident of Woodside
on Jun 20, 2013 at 1:26 pm

We recently experienced an eviction from a stalker and peeping tom landlord with an Italian connection recently. Rising rents, thanks to the social media bubble, has brought out the worst cases of greed from these people. It's absolutely disgusting to kick long standing families out of the community, via stalking and intimidation, in order to make another $12,000 a year in rental income. I suppose it's their property, allowing them to do whatever they want, but they need to act like decent human beings still.

I now consider people that manage rental properties and house flippers on the same scale as ponzi scheme hedge fund managers and politicians.

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Posted by don't believe everything
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jun 20, 2013 at 2:12 pm

I'm scratching my head over this. I was an old neighbor of the Macy's some time ago and cannot believe they are capable of doing this. From previous discussions about this situation, what I came to understand is that the victims are the Macy's, and one of the tenants is the sociopath who fabricated all these stories and evidence because they didn't want to be evicted. I don't know what to think. Just because it's printed in the media doesn't make it true.

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Posted by Hutch Ducatigirl
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Jun 20, 2013 at 2:36 pm

"We recently experienced an eviction from a stalker and peeping tom landlord with an Italian connection recently"

If the landlord was a stalker and a peeping tom, then the police should have been contacted. What does an "italian connection" mean or hae to do with this?????

You should know, "bart", the property managers tend to be employees of the corporation that owns the building--they do not make the rules or decide on the rent. They are usually honest, hard working people just trying to earn a living.
Tarring them all with your brush is wrong. Besides the fact that I have serious doubts about your whole post!!!

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Posted by Bart
a resident of Woodside
on Jun 20, 2013 at 2:55 pm

These were not employees of a property management organization, they were wealthy ndividuals (via inheritance) that bought properties, rented them out and sold after placing their own families within to comply with home sale tax exemption. Beyond that, they had no integrity, were uneducated, greedy and to top it off, stalkers and peeping toms.

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Posted by Belie ve It..
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Jun 20, 2013 at 3:24 pm

Scratching .......if they were innocent, why did they flee the country, fight extradition, and plead guilty?

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Posted by Hmmm
a resident of East Palo Alto
on Jun 20, 2013 at 3:34 pm

Of course the Macys are guilty of what they were convicted of, & much more.

And Bart - I'm really sorry to hear about what you experienced. Many newbie "landlords" focus only on their privilege & not their responsibility. This is what strong landlord-tenant laws much be crafted & adhered to.

A well-known case here in EPA was when a tenant's rights advocate was spied on by an off-duty Palo Alto police officer, on behalf of the crooked landlord. He suddenly retired after the tenant complained!

I hope that your current situation is more stable & that you're happier.

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Posted by anonymous
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Jun 21, 2013 at 9:01 am

I read another account - SF Chronicle, I believe - that described the man as a successful SW engineer. That struck me as odd, considering the story of terrible beahvior and treatment of tenants here and the conviction.
"There are many slumlords in Palo Alto too" - really? I thought there were strict rental laws nowadays, even though it is clear there are a shortage of rental properties. People should contact police or go to rental housing advocates if bad stuff is occurring...

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Posted by Hmmm
a resident of East Palo Alto
on Jun 21, 2013 at 10:48 am

What, someone can write software & be a sociopath? Please. Financial success has nothing to do w/how you treat others. Remember Bernie Madoff? [Portion removed by Palo Alto Online staff.]

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Posted by Edgarpoet
a resident of Mountain View
on Jun 22, 2013 at 11:42 am

Having experienced another "landlord from Hell" I believe this account of happenings and yes, when some people get into positions
of power over others, they become like Jekel and Hyde. I had a landlord threaten me and my wife and acuually had to call the police on him 3 times. He tried to change the lease terms after the signing.
These people really do exist, so renters beware!
Hope the judge throws the book at them!

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Posted by It's Tough Not To Own Your Own Place
a resident of Green Acres
on Jun 24, 2013 at 3:36 pm

It is unfortunate that any of us have to be renters at all, ever. At birth, we should all be given a small plot of land to improve for ourselves with housing so that we always have a place to live, regardless of what happens during the course of our lives. It is terrible to have to depend on living in other people's owned property. One can never have peace, or dignity in rental housing.

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Posted by Hmmm
a resident of East Palo Alto
on Jun 24, 2013 at 7:20 pm

Never? It's Tough, that's pretty extreme. I grew up in a rental home that my parents then purchased. We did pretty much whatever we wanted, as long as it wasn't destructive. It was quite bucolic, actually. It was on a big lot, so we did a lot of gardening. We had many animals - we even did small-scale wildlife rehab. All the kids in the area & at school preferred to play at my house.

Currently, I have a friend in Menlo who moved into a rental house, 20 years ago. Similar scenario as mine. They made changes to the place & eventually bought it & still live there. It's where they've raised their family.

I know another person who has a gorgeous rental in Redwood City. She & her spouse prefer not to own so that they have the flexibility they need for their lives & careers.

I have an ex who had a great place in SF. It was a cute, safe flat w/a terraced backyard. The landlord did all of the gardening & even left veggies for him. While he wasn't allowed to have pets, the landlord let me bring my dogs over to visit.

There can be a lot of benefits in renting, but this culture only focuses on owning real estate.

And given what's happened to so many home owners since 2007, owning a home isn't always the wise route that we're taught to believe that it is.

The hard part of course is that renting can be about the luck of the draw- you can't write your own destiny home-wise. But for many people, that doesn't matter, so that having a law-abiding, decent landlord is all that they need.