A Superior Court Judge has ruled against Anne Kihagi, the predator landlord who was sued by the City of San Francisco for waging an ongoing war of “harassment, intimidation, and retaliation” against dozens of rent-controlled tenants in an attempt to raise her rent-roll by illegally evicting tenants in the buildings which she started acquiring circa 2013.
In all, the judge found harassment, retaliation or fraudulent and wrongful evictions of tenants at seven different rent-controlled buildings in San Francisco. The judge found that the defendants harassed and wrongfully evicted 23 different tenants, and illegally harassed 10 other tenants – one of whom died.
Kihagi’s tactics included fraud; harassment; threats; intimidation; verbal abuse; interrupting
gas, electric, water, and cable service; disrupting mail service; and failing to cash rent checks, only to later claim them as untimely rent payments. She and her agents also backdated correspondence and notices; violated tenants’ privacy by entering their apartments without required notice; refused to timely abate unsafe and substandard habitability conditions; and even retaliated against tenants who cooperated with city inspectors by installing video surveillance cameras aimed at the residents’ front doors.”
In addition to awarding almost $2.4 million in penalties, $1.1 million of which is related to building code violations alone, Judge Angela Bradstreet has ordered the defendants (which included Anne’s sisters, Julia Mwangi and Christine Mwangi, and LLCs) to pay the city’s investigative costs and attorneys fees that are expected to run “into the millions.”
All pending owner move in evictions, relative move in evictions, “temporary” evictions for capital improvements, and Ellis Act notices for units in the buildings controlled by Kihagi have been declared “invalid and without legal effect” as well. And the aforementioned surveillance cameras pointing toward tenants’ units have been ordered to be removed.
Properties at issue in the litigation included: 3947 18th Street, 195 Eureka Street, and 1139 Guerrero Street, which are all in or near the Castro; 650 Church Street near Dolores Park; 69-75 Hill Street in the Mission; and 1000–1022 Filbert Street in Russian Hill.