Landlord of San Francisco building deemed uninhabitable keeps tenants locked out

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The landlord of a San Francisco duplex that was deemed uninhabitable told residents they could collect their belongings Friday, but he failed to unlock the doors for tenants. (KGO-TV )

The saga continues for nearly two dozen tenants forced to leave their Mission District home.

Earlier this week, the San Francisco Department of Building Inspection said the duplex on Hampshire Street was uninhabitable. Residents were supposed to be able to retrieve their belongings Friday, but things didn't go according to plan.

Twenty-three residents stood staring at their former home Friday and the sign on the door that said tenants will be able to remove their possessions between 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. At noon the lock remained firmly bolted.

The tenants attorney Lisa Giampaoli received an email from the landlord Abraham Farag.

Giampaoli says Farag withdrew the agreement to permit the tenants to go in. She is now working with the city attorney to help them gain access.

A colleague at Farag's Palo Alto office told ABC7 News she had two people waiting to unlock the door at 10 a.m., but said none of the tenants were there. She said they stayed until 11:30 a.m. and then left.

ABC7 News showed up to the house at 11 a.m. and saw no one representing Farag.

The colleague said Farag was just obeying city orders by denying the residents entry. She handed over the original building inspection complaint with a section highlighted saying the building is not to be reoccupied until the leaking sewage is cleaned.

A woman said in Spanish she doesn't want to move back in, she just wants to get her stuff. Now she and many others are frustrated.

This is not the first time Farag has found himself in hot water.

The CEO of Sparkfactor Design and his wife Claudia Truesdell, the founder of the engineering consulting company, have their names on dozens of deeds throughout East Palo Alto.

In October of 2014, the U.S. Attorney indicted Farag for bid rigging and mail fraud, claiming Farag would conspire with other people to fix public auctions so they could purchase homes at artificially low prices. The federal case is still working its way through the system.
Related Topics:
housinghomelessevictionrentersrental propertypovertysafetyaffordable housingapartmenthealthforeclosuresauctionSan FranciscoMission District
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