Evictions Raise Hackles

 

Several Alameda residents of an apartment complex in the West End were given notices to vacate the building last month in another battle between the property owner and its tenants.

Three residents of the Bayview Apartments complex at 470 Central Ave. were issued 60-day notices to move from the premises. The notices came after seven tenants were given eviction notices last August. One of the residents who received a demand to leave is Rommel Laguardia. Laguardia lives in a one-bedroom unit with his wife and three children. This is not the first time the property owner has demanded Laguardia to move.  

“I’ve been fighting this eviction since last November,” said Laguardia into a megaphone at a tenant advocacy group rally in August 2016. 

Laguardia, who has been living in the apartment for several years, said he was given his first eviction notice in Nov. 2015 — he has since received at least three others. But the property owners, San Jose-based Sridhar Equities Inc., had to temporarily hold off on the deadline when City Council elected to place tenant evictions on hold in late 2015. When Sridhar purchased the complex in October 2015 for $6.1 million they initially tried to evict all tenants a month later to conduct upgrades to the building. However, when the council voted to pass its “Rent Stabilization and Limitation on Evictions Ordinance” in March 2016 it put in a stipulation that landlords can evict up to 25 percent of tenants a year, according to Alameda Renters Coalition (ARC), through “no fault” evictions. 

Laguardia has a month-to-month lease on his apartment unit. He, along with another tenant, have a court date on Jan. 17 as part of his effort to stay at the property. Other tenants are also suing Sridhar to stay in the apartment. 

ARC activists gathered at the property Dec. 23 to show support for those who may be forced to leave. Among those on hand was state Assm. Rob Bonta, D-Alameda.

Voters passed Measure L1 in the Nov. 2016 election. The measure requires landlords to provide a tenant with financial help for moving expenses in a “no fault” eviction in some circumstances.