Herrera, Cohen hail tough five-year injunction to protect renters, secure $800,000 civil penalty
Community engagement was key to identifying, addressing code violations that were more widespread than originally known
SAN FRANCISCO (June 26, 2012) -- A San Francisco Superior Court judge today approved a sweeping injunction in the City's litigation against Bayview Property Managers that will protect hundreds of tenants in 32 residential rental properties from substandard housing conditions while securing an $800,000 civil penalty for the City. The negotiated agreement significantly expands on a prior court order in the case after City inspectors identified other nuisance conditions at additional properties operated by the defendants. Apart from expanding the number of properties covered in the order, the amended injunction will impose new responsibilities on building managers, extend the injunctive period, and enact tough protections for renters in terms of code enforcement, oversight, and conflict resolution. Retired Superior Court Judge James Warren will serve as special master to oversee and enforce terms of the new injunction, which will remain in effect for the next five years.
City Attorney Dennis Herrera originally brought the action against Bayview Property Managers in November 2006 after an investigation identified multiple violations of state and local laws. While a Sept. 18, 2007 stipulated injunction with the defendant company and property owner James Blanding addressed issues raised in the City's original case, subsequent outreach efforts by City officials including Supervisor Malia Cohen and key community leaders uncovered more widespread violations of state law and San Francisco Housing and Building Codes. Rather than pursue the new causes of action in a separate lawsuit, Herrera worked closely with the Department of Building Inspection to expand and amend the existing injunction.
"This tough injunction expands protections for tenants at these properties, and also shows the enormous value of community engagement to identify and address code violations that threaten health and safety," said City Attorney Herrera. "I applaud Supervisor Malia Cohen for her leadership in the community, and the Department of Building Inspection for their excellent work. I'm also very grateful to Judge Kahn for approving the injunction, and to retired Judge Warren for agreeing to serve as referee to enforce its provisions."
"Protecting our neighborhoods means working closely with the community, and this injunction proves what a difference that kind of engagement can make," said Supervisor Malia Cohen. "This is a strong, enforceable court order that will protect hundreds of renters in the Southeastern neighborhoods and elsewhere in San Francisco. The era of property owners getting away neglecting their responsibilities to their tenants and the surrounding community in District 10 is over. I'm thankful to City Attorney Herrera and the Department of Building Inspection for working closely with my office and the community to achieve this important success and look forward to continuing this work."
The case is: City and County of San Francisco and People of the State of California v. Bayview Property Managers et al., San Francisco Superior Court Case No. CGC-06-458324, originally filed November 30, 2006.
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