Judge makes rare visit to roach-infested SRO in Oakland ahead of lawsuit ruling

Laura Anthony Image
ByLaura Anthony KGO logo
Thursday, August 25, 2016
Judge visits roach-instead SRO in Oakland
A residential hotel in Oakland is so run down that a judge had to intervene. On Wednesday, that judge made a rare site visit as he prepares to make a ruling on a lawsuit brought by a tenant's rights group and the city.

OAKLAND, Calif. (KGO) -- A residential hotel in Oakland is so run down a judge has intervened. And on Wednesday, that judge made a rare visit to see the roach-infested building himself as he considers a lawsuit brought by tenants.

Alameda County Superior Court Judge Brad Seligman arrived to see for himself what conditions are like inside a building on 8th Street in Old Oakland.

The visit comes after the judge ordered the group that owns the building to repair common bathrooms and the kitchen immediately.

ABC7 News was invited inside the building last week where we saw dangerous exposed wires, holes in the ceiling, and cockroaches in a kitchen.

The 34 residents, many of them elderly Asian immigrants, share just 2.5 bathrooms after the others were demolished by the owners.

RELATED: Group ordered to fix 'deplorable' conditions in Oakland SRO

While the regular tenants pay just $400 per month to live in dilapidated conditions, a couple from Canada told us they rented a newly remodeled room in the same building for $70 a night on Airbnb.

"The inspectors, honestly, were not very helpful," said Thomas Kerbleski, the landlord's spokesperson.

Kerbleski told us it's the city that has slowed down their renovations.

Now it's up to the judge to decide whether the lawsuit brought the city attorney and the Asian Law Caucus will prevail.

"We will be reconvening on Tuesday, so we invite you all if you're interested to come then and find out what the further orders of the court will be," said the tenants' attorney Robert Salinas.