Well, I'm back to blogging after a long illness on top of a landlord battle that caused me to move and will result in an Oakland Rent Board hearing next month as well as several complaints to the authorities in general.
Let's just say this. If you're looking for an apartment in the Lake Merritt area, do you want one where the heater does not work after you moved in? How about a water heater that was 20 years old? What about several days with no hot water? How about PG&E declaring your heater a hazzard and your landlord not only refusing to repair it, but saying it's your responsibility and still asking for rent?
What about the fact that one can legally withhold rent for such problems and boy were there more of them? What about your landlord entering your apartment while you're away and without your knoweldge or permission, fixing the heater, and then working to evict you? How about your landlord frequently coming in to your place without your knoweldge or permission? What about your landlord's offsite manager -- there's no on site manager -- telling you that the reason your landlord wants you out is that she doesn't want blacks in the place, and has been systematically rejecting African Americans who want to rent? How about the manager putting this claim in writing to you?
(Yep. An email he said I could use in court!)
How about getting hold of a lawyer who doesn't know the law well, causing you to take over and do your own legal defense?
Yep. All of that happened to me. Boy I learned a lot, and I'm fighting mad.
If you're looking for an apartment in Lake Merritt avoid any building owned by the Jue Trust. That organization -- it's really one person -- takes the meaning of deferred maintenance to silly levels. These problems have existed for a while but over the last five years the Jue Trust has made it worse. For example, the Trust -- ran by Mrs. Lillie Jue -- just inside of two weeks ago rented 375 Van Buren Avenue, Apartment 23 without working heat! I'm not kidding.
The poor person who's in the unit almost froze their first night there! I've had heater problems for years and Mrs. Jue was less than excited about fixing it. Let's just say she didn't do it at all and even over threat of lawsuit and written complaints and when I was paying rent. Stopping payment had no impact. I've had dishwasher floods due to garbage disposal machine disfuction that's beyond clearing a passageway. When my place was broken into in 2003, the first words out of Ms. Jue's lips were "It's not my fault" as opposed to "Are you OK?" This is real, folks.
Heck, paying rent didn't help. The apartment I left has an oven that still didn't work and she was supposed to fix it -- don't get Apartment 19 without checking the oven, first!
It's wild. And it's over for me.
You're better off going with Lapham Properties as they have a lot of buildings around Lake Merritt and units and very responsive and professional representatives.
Meanwhile, I've told the City Attorney's office about the Jue Trust for months, but for some weird reason they're turning a blind eye. Wild man!! They seem to think that because this doesn't impact real poor people, it's ok to skip over it, rather than send the Neighborhood Law Corps out there and investigate all of the problems past and present. They want me to call someone else like Bay Area Legal Aid. In other words, I've got to go out and chase people down to get the legal remedy that would stop Mrs Jue's behavior.
I know Russo's office can do something. Do we have to be poor and elderly before we get help from the Neighborhood Law Corps?
Many people either don't know where to go or whom to talk to and they're middle class people who just want to be happy. I'm fighting for them too. One couple who moved out of Van Buren said to me "We're not people who know the law, but we know that this is not right. We just move out."
A lot of people just move out and do nothing, leaving the Jue Trust with an open invitation to continue it's poor and horrible treatment of Oakland tenants.
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