Business owner accused of unlawful evictions

April 9, 2008 6:57:21 PM PDT
An East Bay real estate business owner is being targeted by the Oakland City Attorney for unlawfully evicting families from foreclosed homes and apartments. The lawsuit alleges that tenants are harassed and threatened as a way to force them out for profit.

"We see these evictions as not only legally wrong, but morally reprehensible. It's the worst type of bottom feeding," says Oakland City Attorney John Russo.

On Wednesday, Oakland City Attorney John Russo announced a lawsuit has been filed in superior court against east bay real estate broker Craig Jarvis and his company called Tri-County Properties for repeatedly violating tenant rights in Oakland.

"Mr. Jarvis has engaged in a pattern of harassing and intimidating and illegal behavior to get rid of renters in foreclosed properties," says Russo.

"He threatened to come in our house and change our locks and take all our belongings if we don't move out," says tenant Ahmad Dixon.

Ahmad Dickson and Jean Hunter moved out of their unit on 16th Avenue in Oakland after eviction threats.

"They're scared by these notices, they run out of their homes without relocation costs , without being able to get their security deposit back," says Sheena Wadhawan from Oakland Neighborhood Law Corps.

Jarvis' Tri-City Properties lists no business address, but ABC7 News caught up with Craig Jarvis at his home in Walnut Creek with the lawsuit in our hands. Jarvis declined to comment or to talk face to face or on camera about the lawsuit.

Online, he continues to feature foreclosed homes and duplexes for sale all across the East Bay.

On the Tri-County Properties Web site, Craig Jarvis claims to be an East Bay real estate expert in simplifying the process of disbursing foreclosed properties and he promises to reduce carrying costs for an impressive list of clients.

Those clients include big name financial institutions.

"According to tenants, Mr. Jarvis provides services to these banks by showing up and pressuring them to move in person, intimidating clients to take paltry cash for keys offers," says Russo.

Oakland's city attorney says they're looking into more illegal evictions by other brokers.


Load Comments