ONLY ON ABC7NEWS.COM: Landlord locks tenants out of uninhabitable San Francisco building

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Several tenants were forced to move out of their apartment in San Francisco, but now the landlord refuses to help them relocate.

Several tenants were forced to move out of their San Francisco apartment because the building is unsafe and now their landlord is breaking a promise to help them.

San Francisco police officers were called to the Mission District duplex Thursday by the tenants because they were locked out of their home by their landlord before they could collect their belongings. The tenants say they have nowhere to turn.

"All my stuff is inside and he locked it like that. How can I go inside?" said tenant Adan Lobo, who says he's now living on the streets.

The 23 tenants first found a temporary vacate order on the Hampshire Street building on Monday after city building inspectors declared the building a safety hazard and deemed it uninhabitable due to overcrowding and raw sewage that was leaking through the ceiling. The ceiling also was in danger of collapsing.

"When I take a shower, dirty water come down on me," said Lobo.

Officials say the current building owner had refused to make repairs.

Checks were issued to the residents to help them relocate, but the tenant's attorney said the checks were no good.

"The tenants all relocated based on having the money to pay for the hotels and we found out today the landlord has stopped payment on them, so they're invalid," said the tenants' attorney Lisa Giampoli.

Late Thursday, the building owner dropped off cashier's checks at the tenants' rights attorney's office for only half the agreed amount, less than $1,000 per person.

A note posted on front of the building door Thursday said tenants can return Friday between 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. to collect their belongings. Police say they have a right to get into their apartments Thursday night.

The building owner Abraham Faraq was named in a federal indictment last year for so-called 'bid rigging' at foreclosure auctions to defraud mortgage holders.

"When I took this case, I didn't know the owner was already under investigation by the feds," Giampoli said.

Attempts to reach Faraq were unsuccessful.
Related Topics:
housinghomelessevictionrentersrental propertypovertysafetyaffordable housingapartmenthealthforeclosuresauctionSan FranciscoMission District
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