California

A UC-Berkeley Professor Couldn't Evict Her Tenant Because of California's Insane Laws

Mother Jones accidentally makes the case against eviction regs.

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Monkey Business Images / Dreamstime

Mother Jones writes, "It's not easy to evict someone in California… Generally that's a good thing." But many people who read the article in which this claim appears may reach a different conclusion.

Elizabeth Abel, an English professor at the University of California-Berkeley, rented her two-bedroom home to David Peritz, who teaches at Sarah Lawrence College. Abel didn't bother to ask for references or do much research on her prospective tenant, according to Mother Jones: the fact that he was an academic was essentially good enough for her.

Her trust was misplaced. Peritz failed to pay rent on time, and it didn't take long for him to stop paying entirely:

By the time April 1 came and went without a rent check, Abel had had enough. She wrote Peritz to tell him she was taking him to small-claims court. Around the same time, Abel's neighbors began writing her increasingly concerned emails. One of them had even seen Peritz taking her furniture down the driveway to the office in the garage late at night. They rarely, if ever, saw his wife or son.

Abel got in touch with the Kensington Police Department, which sent an officer by the house to talk with Peritz. The officer emailed Abel to tell her that he thought Peritz was "trying to establish squatters rights or lock you out," and that she should have a cop accompany her when she eventually came back home. Someone from the police department would tell her she should start the eviction process as soon as possible. It might take weeks, even months, to get Peritz out of her house.

That's because of California's insane laws governing landlord-tenant interactions. The law protects tenants engaged in the worst sorts of cons—they can essentially continue to occupy a home, without ever paying rent, for months at a time. The eviction process is so crazy, it even formed the basis of the plot on an episode of HBO's Silicon Valley (the episode, according to Bustle, was pretty dead-on). According to Mother Jones:

This process was set up in part to protect tenants from predatory landlords. But in some instances it has provided cover for people looking to score a few months of free housing. In 2008, SF Weekly reported that there were between 20 and 100 serial evictees operating in San Francisco—bouncing from home to home without ever paying a dime.

The sharing economy has provided new opportunities for grifters to game the system. So-called Airbnb squatters—like the pair of brothers who refused to leave a Palm Springs condo in the summer of 2014 after paying one month's rent—have become more common. It's enough of an issue that Airbnb has a page devoted to the topic; it warns that local laws may allow long-term guests to establish tenants' rights.

Peritz has been accused of doing exactly this. Someone even set up a website to warn people not to rent their homes to him.

Thankfully, Abel finally prevailed over Peritz (for the most part), largely thanks to a public shaming campaign launched by sympathetic academics—including feminist giants Judith Butler and Wendy Brown. "I will write to every colleague in your field explaining the horrible scam you have committed," Brown threatened. Students have tried to get Peritz fired—and for once, such an effort seems entirely merited. Suffice it to say, someone like Peritz should not be teaching a course on "Ethics and Politics of New Technology."

Peritz eventually vacated the premises, and has started making restitution payments to Abel, according to Mother Jones. But what about all the landlords out there who don't have Judith Butler on speed dial? They are at the mercy of a system designed to protect scammers from the consequences of taking advantage of property owners.

Liberals who support California's eviction policies—including many of the folks at Mother Jones, I presume—will say these laws are necessary in order to prevent landlords from mistreating their tenants: to stop them from evicting people without notice, force them to fix the utilities, and prevent sudden rent increases. But this seems like a case where the straightforwardly libertarian approach works just fine: landlords and tenants should be permitted to agree to mutual terms, spell them out in a contract, and sue each other if either party violates it. The problem with California's laws is that they supersede these contracts, tip the scales in favor of tenants, and enable the kinds of horrific abuses detailed in the Mother Jones article.

In any case, Abel told Mother Jones that she's hoping her ordeal could persuade policymakers to reform Caifornia's eviction laws. It's sure nice to see college professors standing up for private property rights.

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  1. They also made a movie about it called Pacific Heights. Michael Keaton stole the show in that one.

    1. Came in to say this. Not the Michael Keaton part though.

      1. I thought he was great in that movie. Evil with a wink.

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    2. Keaton was just “borrowing” it.

      1. How crazy is it that Keaton is going to play a comic book birdman in the new Spider Man movie?

        Also, Birdman was an awesome movie.

        1. Never saw it, but the reviews I’ve read rate it pretty high.

          1. It’s a love it or hate it kind of movie. I thought it was brilliant and Keaton’s best in years if not all time. I love great character movies and this was definitely one of those.

          2. In counterpoint to Tman, I hated it. And I like Michael Keaton. The satire may have been too subtle for me, but I found it to be the exact sort of pointless masturbatory “character study” it was supposedly satirizing.

    3. Yeah, can’t believe they reference Silicon Valley but not Pacific Heights. Frickin’ younglings.

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  2. “The sharing economy has provided new opportunities for grifters to game the system.”

    Seriously?

    1. Yes. AirBnB can lead to squatter’s “rights” in California.

      1. I mean, does one blame the sharing economy, or California’s landlord-tenant laws?

        1. There’s plenty of blame to go around.

          1. The sharing economy is good…. especially b/c it facilitates more and more people being (at least temporary) landlords. This exposes more and more folks to the unjust rules. When the victims of regulation include liberal UC professors — not just horrible horrible deplorable white capitalists who love to exploit the serfs + other proles by controlling land and demanding rent — the whole “property is theft” bit falls apart. Here’s hoping the Berkeley profs stay woke to the evils of over-broad economic restriction and state paternalism

            Or maybe they only care about who is doing it to whom.

        2. Was the article blaming the sharing economy?

          It’s just reality that when a new idea comes along, proggies are already there with pants around their ankles, forcing out a legislative burden all over it.

          1. Now that’s how you euphemism, people!

      2. Yeah, I was wondering WTF is “squatters rights”.

        1. If you steal a home long enough, you get to keep it.

          It’s a brualized concept from common law that originally protected people who’d lived someplace and made productive use of otherwise abandoned property – not house thieves who the real owner has been fighting to get out.

          1. I think that’s adverse possession, which means once you start occupying land and claiming to own it, rival owners have a given number of years to sue you, and if they don’t, they lose their rights to the land.

            But this assumes the adverse possessor has been occupying the land openly for a fixed term of years, basically saying, “here I am, if you don’t like it, sue me!”

            I don’t think squatters rights is quite the same – I’m no expert, but I think it kicks in as soon as you occupy a home, and the real owner needs to go to court to get you out, they can’t just call the cops and have you arrested for trespassing.

            (generic “you,” not you personally)

            1. Hey look, no need to be nice to Uncivil, he works for the government: he can take a LOT of abuse.

            2. You’re mostly correct in the distinction. Adverse possession comes into effect after a number of years (usually 10-20, depending on the jurisdiction), while squatters rights come into effect after a number of months (in the California case mentioned, a mere 30 days). Further, adverse possession transfers ownership, while squatters rights usually grant only use (although if you are deprived the use of your property ownership has little meaning), and the two have opposite burdens of proof (burden is on the possessor but not the squatter).

        2. I live in CA, so let me explain: “Squatter’s Rights” is the law which allows free-loaders to shit all over you.

          1. I first heard of it in the Army, from NYC (mostly) tards who used it as a euphemism for just taking stuff. Since they were obviously using the term right, they might only be tards on one less axis.

          1. And gaming Kickstarter too. What a lovely person.

            1. I always knew gamers were trouble.

        3. Homesteading someone else’s home.

          1. Seasteading is just squatting on Neptune’s turf.

    2. Hacking a bank account wasn’t possible before the creation of the Internet, but to say “the Internet has provided new opportunities for thieves to pilfer your money” isn’t blaming the Internet for the theft, just accurately describing the state of affairs.

  3. “Abel told Mother Jones that she’s hoping her ordeal could persuade policymakers to reform Caifornia’s eviction laws”

    At least she is capable of learning.

    1. I wonder if there will be any introspection and questioning about all of the other insane and dumb things she believes…

      1. My work spans two broad fields of inquiry. The first is gender and sexuality, psychoanalysis, and twentieth-century fiction (with a focus on Virginia Woolf). The second is race, cultural studies, and visuality. I recently completed Signs of the Times: The Visual Politics of Jim Crow, which charts the cultural history of segregation signs through their mediation by photography. My current project explores the afterlives of Virginia Woolf in unexpected places and cultural traditions across the twentieth century: not the popular cultural appropriations that have generated explicit revisions of her novels and emblazoned her image on coffee mugs and t-shirts, but the subtle resonances and subtextual conversations that are audible in writers as diverse as Nella Larsen, Roland Barthes, and W.G. Sebald.”

        1. SELECTED PUBLICATIONS AND PAPERS DELIVERED

          Signs of the Times: The Visual Politics of Jim Crow. (California, 2010).

          Virginia Woolf and the Fictions of Psychoanalysis (Chicago, 1989).

          Female Subjects in Black and White: Race, Psychoanalysis, Feminism, ed. (California, 1997).

          Writing and Sexual Difference, ed. (Chicago, 1982).

          The Signs Reader: Women, Gender, and Scholarship, ed. (Chicago, 1983)

          “Race, Class, and Psychoanalysis? Opening Questions,” in Conflicts in Feminism, ed. Marianne Hirsch and Evelyn Fox Keller (New York, 1990).

          Black Writing, White Reading: Race and the Politics of Feminist Interpretation,” Critical Inquiry 19, 3 (Spring 1993).

          “Domestic Borders, Cultural Boundaries: Black Feminists Re-view the Family,” The Familial Gaze, ed. Marianne Hirsch (Hanover, NH, 1999).

          “Bathroom Doors and Drinking Fountains: Jim Crow’s Racial Symbolic,” Critical Inquiry 25 (Spring 1999).

          “Mania, Depression, and the Future of Theory, Critical Inquiry 30, 2 (Winter 2004).

          1. “Shadows,” Representations 84 (Spring 2004), 166-199.

            “Double Take: Photography, Cinema, and the Segregated Theater,” Critical Inquiry 34, 5 (Winter 2007)

            “American Graffiti: The Social Life of Segregation Signs,” African American Review 42, 1 (2008)

            “Racial Panic, Taboo, and Technology in the Age of Obama,” Trans-scripts, I (February, 2011).

            “History at a Standstill: Agency and Gender in the Image of Civil Rights,” in Picturing Atrocity (London, 2012)

            “Skin, Flesh, and the Affective Wrinkles of Civil Rights Photography,” Qui Parle (Spring, 2012); reprinted in English Language Notes (Spring/Summer 2013) and Feeling Photography, ed. Elspeth H. Brown and Thy Phu (Durham, 2013).

            “The Victorian Cook’s Modern Character,” Centenary Essays on Virginia Woolf’s 1910, ed. Makiko Minow-Pinckney (Illuminati, 2013).

            “Spaces of Time: Virginia Woolf’s Life-Writing,” Modernism and Autobiography, ed. Maria DiBattista and Emily Wittman (Cambridge, 2014).

            1. Your tax dollars at work.

            2. I surrender! Please stop!

              1. If I didn’t know better I’d say that was parody.

            3. So, “no”, then, on the “capable of learning” thing?

        2. “My work spans two broad fields of inquiry…

          Cripple fight!

      2. Nonsense. She only changed her mind this time because the laws have personally affected her in a negative way. Since those other policies haven’t harmed her personally, they must be working just fine!

        1. “Nonsense. She only changed her mind this time because the laws have personally affected her in a negative way. Since those other policies haven’t harmed her personally, they must be working just fine!”

          Remember the woman who was DOWN with O-care until she got her new insurance bill?
          ‘I knew somebody was going to have to pay for it. I just didn’t think it was me.’

    2. If she’s hoping for reform, she has more learning coming her way.

  4. There couldn’t possibly be a connection to the housing shortage. No siree.

    1. That’s just CRAZY talk!
      I blame the Fuzzy-Tailed Throat Garbler: they need a lot of open space in prime home construction tracts of land.

  5. And, of course, let’s not forget one huge and rarely-mentioned consequence of laws like this: they encourage landlords to keep rentable properties off the market. In case you wondered whether there was any relationship between laws like this and the insane prices of rentals in the Bay Area.

    1. San Francisco’s rent control laws make it incredibly difficult to raise rents

      Even on vacant apartments? That’s insane, beyond even NYC – where I’m pretty sure you can raise the rent on a vacant apartment to whatever you want. Soaking newcomers to pay for wealthy layabout old people is how they get by after all.

      1. You can raise the rent on a vacant property in SF. The issue is that squatters (and otherwise destructive tenants) are a big enough problem there that they have to be considered a non-trivial extra cost of maintaining the property. If you can charge a high enough rent to cover that expected cost, you will; if not, the place will sit vacant. For a lot of property owners in the city, these laws make tenants too great a risk.

        1. The official vacancy rate in NYC always hovers around 1%. I dunno if that accounts for “vacant by choice” but I would assume so. And landlords are treated like scum here just like CA – so I wonder what is the difference?

  6. “I’m always amazed at how many risks people take with their home,” says Leah Simon-Weisberg, the legal director at a Bay Area tenants’ rights organization and a commissioner on Berkeley’s rent board. “You let these total strangers in, you know nothing about their credit, you’ve never met them before, and you let them into your home with your stuff. I mean, it kind of blows my mind.”

    I agree, if you’re gonna walk through that alley with a skirt that short it’s really your own damn fault for what happens, isn’t it? However, I ust say I’m somewhat surprised to see this particular woman make the argument that the victim got what she deserved.

    1. That’s some grade A top shelf level concern trolling right there.

    2. The concept of “renting” blows her mind? Get this woman on a “rent board” stat!

  7. I have a few friends who own rental properties in LA. When there’s a problem tenant who hasn’t paid rent, they PAY THAT TENANT to leave. It’s cheaper than going to court and letting the tenant squat for another 9 months.

    1. Heh, there’s a set of fucked-up incentives if I’ve ever seen one.

    2. I don’t understand why they wouldn’t pay some big dudes a retainer to come around and throw the motherfucker out onto the street and change the lock. That’s kind of how we take care of this shit here if the tenant doesn’t take the ‘please leave, I’m not renting to you anymore’ hint.

      1. Because then the tenant can sue you and the big dudes for lots of money? Very few states permit self-help residential evictions to the best of my knowledge and most states have statutory causes for wrongful eviction that can included multiple damages, attorney’s fees, etc.

        1. True story. The days of “I’m removing your front door for repairs” are long behind us.

          Disclosure: I’m a landlord.
          I’m amazed that if your children are hungry you will go to jail for taking food from the store without paying for it, even if you Need it.

          If you are a tenant and you take my property from me without paying for it, I have to sue you to get you to stop stealing. If I win, the court then gives you a week or so to stop.

    1. No, expel portions of California from the country, but keep the central valley, north and East. Call the expelled territory “Left California”.

      1. No California Left Behind!

    2. I’d be happy turning the State of California into the Independent People’s Republic of Calizuela and the State of Jefferson. We don’t have to spend money changing the U.S. flag or anything, and we ditch a giant concentration of idiot leftists.

      1. Oh they’d be paying MEXICO taxes on the quick. SPECIAL taxes, I’m sure.

        As for other Cali “problem areas”, San Fran’s pretty small…you could probably just bulldoze it and start over (as was already done for them in 1906).

  8. The fact that Sarah Lawrence College is thousands of miles away from California didn’t tip her off?

    1. Look she’s a professor of English, not Geography.

    2. Oh shit, nice catch.

    3. He was a remote virtual professor.

      1. Then couldn’t he have just been stored in the could somewhere instead of needing a house? Or did he run from a bathroom server?

        1. In the cloud of course. His actual address is a warehouse in Singapore. But that’s not important right now.

          1. + 1 don’t call me Shirley

      2. Yeah, who wants to grift their way across Bronxville when you can do the same in lovely northern California.

    4. On the web site, they mention sabbatical property lists so he may have said he was on sabbatical.

  9. From the SLC (heh, my late wife’s alma mater) website:

    Special interests in democracy in conditions of cultural diversity, social complexity and political dispersal, critical social theory, social contract theory, radical democratic thought, and the idea of dispersed but integrated public spheres that create the social and institutional space for broad-based, direct participation in democratic deliberation and decision-making.

    Yeah, who couldn’t have seen that would be a problem.

    1. Was that even in English?

      1. maybe so extinct olde english? I sure as hell can’t make heads or tails of that gibberish.

        1. That’s why you need to sign up for his classes, so you can understand that gibberish.

  10. Had long-hair come to my door once in Santa Monica. He wanted me to sign petition demanding recall or some-such for the rent-control board. Why? “There’s a LANDLORD on the rent-control board!” Apparently one had snuck on somehow. I was like “So what?” And long-hair’s eyes got wide, like in Bodysnatchers when a pod-person realizes an unprogrammed one is in their midst.

    1. “How about a petition to abolish the Rent Control Board?”

      1. Clearly the solution is to have your own stack of petitions by the door when these tards come calling.

  11. One of the most prominent cases of this sort of thing happened right here. A guy by the name of Bill Eisen who was on our local school board, and finally got recalled due to his shenanigans. 8 bankruptcies over 2 decades to avoid foreclosure on “his” home (which he didn’t actually own).

    Part 1 here.

    The guy is a complete loon. Came to public meetings disheveled and smelling like cabbage, wouldn’t make eye contact, and probably legally insane. But there’s no doubt that he was a legal genius.

    1. “Came to public meetings disheveled and smelling like cabbage,”

      Stop othering the Irish.

  12. Aaaaaaaaand this is why we only rent to people we know. Which might come with its own set of problems, but mutual assured destruction socially at work should be enough to keep *both* sides on our best behavior.

    Buddy of mine had a couple renting his condo, lived their 7 months rent free before he was able to get them out. Moral of the story is that at every step of the way you have to be on top of it, file everything you’re supposed to, and dot your i’s and cross your t’s. Unfortunately, “hasn’t paid rent in months” isn’t by itself reason enough for someone to be tossed out *today*, but that’s the level of on-its-face idiocy we have.

    1. Dad owns a number of properties in New Mexico. It’s amazingly easy to get bum tenants tossed: file notice with the city, give them three days, call the sheriff to send out a deputy, toss them out on their asses, and change the locks. And you know what? He’s only had to do it a handful of times in the two decades he’s been renting. Gee, it’s almost like consequences instill incentives.

  13. Funny how academics who usually are shielded from the ideas (in general) they like to impose on others sometimes get to experience unintended consequences of those ideas.

    Not so pretty, eh, Abel?

    Similar to people who support heavy regulations on business because ‘predators’ and ‘greed’ and all that other emotional rubbish. It’s easy for them to do so because they don’t have to deal with the implications and consequences of such policies imposed on small business. They get to revert to their cubby holes….until they get into business and begin to question the very rules they supported. I’ve seen it.

    As for the landlord/tenant relationship, I reckon it’s pretty much the same laws that govern the continent. That is, laws are usually skewed in favor of the tenant and stacked against the landlord. You should see the deadbeat winners who are masters at exploiting loopholes who take us to court. And we’re literally the nicest landlords you can get. We’ve yet to lose (knock on wood) but it’s a bitch to haul your ass into the city to fight some assholes with some bull shit claim.

    One thing I do know, where the landlord is stuck, there are *ways* to deal with a piece of shit parasite like this loser in the article.

    1. I’d like to add, what’s helped us is getting a judge who owns properties. Once upon a time, landlords were screwed even before they got to plead their case in defence. Things have changed a little on that front. Thankfully.

  14. If I owned property in the Bay Area, I’d ask for 6 months deposit and a lien on title to their car. Which is probably illegal.

    1. I’d think large deposits are fine, but you’re probably right about the lien being illegal.

    2. In many places it literally is illegal to ask for more than a certain deposit. Often the limit is 1.5 times the monthly rent.

      And before you clever folk start jumping on “not a deposit, prepaid rent”, it’s been tried.

  15. according to Bustle

    also my go-to source for any legal-analysis. and deep questions like, “How do homeless women deal with their periods?”

    1. Kailah Willcuts, 27, has been sleeping on the streets for more than eight years, and says getting her period is one of the most difficult things she faces. “Not only is it terrible, but it’s also embarrassing,” she tells Bustle.

      More embarrassing than having spent your formative work-years living on the street?

      1. Shitting behind a dumpster or begging for change isn’t so you can buy smokes is a point of pride.

        Also = she has a facebook page

        Apparently one should never suffer for one’s lifestyle choices. Tampons are a god-given right. Also, hot dogs and beer.

        1. Also notable =

          Crusty punks apparently can do without the complexities of a Hobo Bindle. They all seem to own internal-frame backpacks of more-recent vintage (and better maintained) then anything they’re wearing.

  16. I guess he’s pulling this shit in California because back east it would get him a visit from a kneecapper.

    -jcr

    1. If you know the field, it sounds like a real market opportunity. Shit, if she put up a GoFundMe to have this guy’s kneecap’s busted, I might donate.

      1. I was thinking that this has to be a huge untapped market in CA.

        Hire some large men with discretion and a sense of justice that does not necessarily comply with the law. Offer tenant removal services on a cash-only basis. Mr. Peritz would probably vacate after a couple of broken fingers at the most.

        1. Fun fact!

          I was one thrown off a local real estate public radio show for suggesting that hiring thugs might be cheaper than filing an eviction.

  17. There was a news story I heard on the radio news here in CA a few years back. A single, middle-aged man lost his job and put an ad in the local newspaper to rent out a room in his house. He wanted the income to make ends meet until he found another job. The newspaper ad specified that he wanted a male tenant.

    Well, an alphabet soup State agency got a complaint about this. He got a notice to appear in front of this commission to explain the ad. The commissioners fined him $5000. He was not accused of a crime, he was not Mirandized, he was not given notice that this was a trial. He just showed up and got fined $5000.

    1. In California, they fine you 5 grand for being gay?

    2. Estranged from his wife, I think. He wasn’t gay yet.

    3. Is it Seattle where they’re planning to force landlords to rent to the first person who shows up? I can’t see any possible downsides to that.

      1. LANDLORDS!

        That’s a terrible name. A lot of folk (like me, for instance) who don’t have a union or government job with a pension will buy a rental property or two to provide a steady income in retirement, or as they fade away. LANDLORDS!

        1. A former President of the local Real Estate Investors Association, who is also the ex-Mrs Drew coined the term “housing provider” to try to replace landlord.

  18. So my next door neighbors rent their home. Every time they get a new tenant, they say “Some friends of ours will be moving in”. The last tenants they had had FOUR DOGS (they told the landlords they only had one, and only paid the pet fee for one). They were a hot mess.

    I’m sure my neighbors only tell me they’re “friends” to make me think the tenants are well-known to them and pre-screened and all that, but what it really does is make me think “why the hell do you have slobby, inconsiderate friends who scam you out of your rightful pet fees?”

  19. Friend of mine rented a room in her house in Palo Alto to a scumbag who pulled this shit on her. He was a guy that we knew socially, and he apparently only paid rent twice before going full deadbeat and robbing her for about six months’ worth of his share of the rent. About a year earlier he had tried to get me to go in with him on renting a house, but I dodged that bullet.

    -jcr

  20. So leases are basically meaningless in CA? And by extension, why not any sort of contract? It’s insane.

    1. No, Rhywun, Insane looks and California and goes “That guy’s nuts”.

      1. Your comment was not nice to insane people.

    2. Article I, Section 10’s protection of the obligation of contracts may be the deadest part of the U.S. Constitution and Amendments.

  21. I had a nightmare tenant story here in Moscow on the Hudson NYC. Guy looked good on paper, had decent Wall Street career but he came with the building. Wouldn’t renew his lease ( was free market, nothing special) as we had other plans for property but he didn’t want to leave so he made up all sorts of crap and cost me shit ton of legal fees and 9 months before I finally got him out. Sometimes assholes are just assholes all the way through.

    1. Is there any reason well-off tenants can’t be required to post bond that their claims aren’t BS?

      1. Thank god for my wife who kept me from applying my southside of Chicago principles to convince him to abandon his bullshit. As she rightly pointed out the day I would have knocked his teeth in and broke his arms would have been the happiest day of his life. I taken solace in the fact he is out there somewhere miserable with his fat cow wife and his below average children.

        1. To be fair, I meant post a money bond, not teeth and arms.

          1. Lol, sorry I was having horrible flashbacks. He really put my family through hell for no reason other than he regretted not stepping up and buying the property himself. He was willing to burn money in the courts and that is an obnoxious opponent. Even his shark attorney afterwards admitted he was the biggest douche for a client he ever had!

            1. Sounds like a real nice guy. /sarc for not a nice guy

        2. Hey, I had the same impulse control issue with a psycho landlord who made my life a living hell.
          I moved out before he ended up having an unfortunate accident.

          1. Yep, and the temporary satisfaction you would have gotten would have messed up your life. Self control is key in the grown up world.

  22. I don’t get this.
    As a renter in ny/nj, I have to go through a rigorous background check and fork over thousands of dollars in advance to get an apt due to the limited supply of decent available affordable places thanks to rent control.
    I assume the situation is similar in SF, no? So how do people get multiple apts like this without paying anything?

    1. my last deposit was 6k for a 3 bedroom.

    2. I’ve only heard of renters having to pay big deposits like that up front in NY or NJ. I never had to do so when renting apartments in northern or southern California.

  23. The landlord/tenant laws here in Arizona are pretty sane. I insist my tenant goes on a month to month. That gives me the right to give 30 notice at anytime for any reason. With a 6-12 month lease it’s gets a little more difficult to evict. And if they split on a longer lease, supposedly they owe me for the balance. Except I’ve got to go to court to get it. And most judges won’t give it to me. Month to month it is.

  24. Given the foreseeability of such problems, why were these statutes & ordinances enacted? Was it a popular plan to rip off landlords piecemeal? Like, let’s see if we can rig things so tenants can get serviced at landlords’ expense?

    1. Because those places are run by Democratic party machines.

      1. OK, but what does that say about Democrat machines? That they don’t need any votes from landlords, or from anybody else they think they can screw to advantage?

        1. They don’t need votes from landlords. They need votes from the transient population of marks who cycle through the Bay Area, who vastly outnumber permanent residents. The permanent resident landlords are, however, despite all their whining, doing just fine due to their decades long continuous suppression of additional housing stock.

          FTA :

          Peritz visited Abel’s cozy two-bedroom Spanish Revival in Kensington, a pocket of suburban affluence just north of Berkeley.

          The median home value in Kensington is $965,800. Kensington home values have gone up 8.2% over the past year and Zillow predicts they will rise 1.9% within the next year.

          Boo hoo hoo that she struggles with a renter in a house that she likely bought 40 years ago for $150k and is now worth north of $1Mn because she and people like her want to slam the door shut after themselves. Boo hooo hooooooooo that her tax burden reflects the $150k purchase price and not the current value because of Prop 13. She and others like her provided no value to the economy justifying the windfall, they just used the power of the state to enforce artificial scarcity.

  25. Yeah so this is why I sympathized with Kingpin on the Daredevil series.
    The show tries to paint him as evil for attempting to PAY his tenants $20,000 to leave so he can tear down the building and build something else. And Daredevil thinks that’s so evil and immoral that he has to get involved and commit actual violence to prevent it.

    1. To be fair, they had a guy in a devil suit impeding an owner’s property rights.

      1. I mean, if someone goes around in a devil suit, that’s generally a sign that they’re evil.

      2. Actually, he didn’t get the suit until about episode 10. Before that it was just a bandana and spandex workout gear, I think.

  26. If you don’t pay rent, GTFO. You signed a contract. I couldn’t sell my condo (thanks Obama!) so I rented it out. Oh joy, I’m a landlord.

    My VERY FIRST TENANT was a deadbeat. This gal was also Section 8, which means she was only required to pay 1/3 of her rent while the gubmint covered the rest. I evicted her, but even outside of CA it can take 2 months.

    TL;DR Being a landlord is unwise.

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