Landlords Sneak in Under Moratorium

Dennis Evanosky  Tenants who received termination notices compare notes at the Bayview Apartments last week. The building’s owners updated their termination notices on Veterans Day.

Landlords Sneak in Under Moratorium

Hundreds evicted just in time for Veterans Day holiday

Residents at the Bayview Apartments at 470 Central Ave., were given tenancy termination notices on Nov. 7, according to Catherine Pauling, spokesperson for Alameda Renters Coalition. 

The owners of the building, Sridhar Equities, delivered the notices a mere three days after City Council adopted an ordinance prohibiting no cause evictions for 65 days.

The City Council unanimously voted 5-0 to adopt the urgency ordinance prohibiting residential rent increases of more than 8 percent and no-cause evictions at a special meeting Nov. 4.

The 65-day moratorium was put in place to provide city staff time to prepare legislation for the Council’s consideration in January. During this period, rents in multi-family buildings built before 1995 cannot be increased more than 8 percent. The cap on rent increases is cumulative and takes into account rent increases imposed within the last 12 months. In addition, actions to terminate a tenancy, such as evictions, have been limited to for-cause only (non-payment of rent, illegal activity, etc.) for the 65-day period. 

However, it appears Sridhar is just postponing eviction plans to bypass the moratorium period. According to Pauling, the original termination notice demanded residents to be moved out by Jan. 8, but that fell under the 65-day moratorium. So Sridhar Equities handed out a revised notice on Veteran’s Day that moved the eviction date to Jan. 11.

In the letter, Sridhar said they are terminating the tenant agreements so they can “perform work on the building.” The company, which is based in San Jose, is not believed to have acquired the proper city permits to perform construction on the site at the time the letters were delivered. Sridhar has owned and operated the complex for just one month. 

The Alameda Renters Coalition held a press conference Saturday, Nov. 14, at the apartment complex with the families of the Bayview Apartments in attendance. At the meeting Pauling vehemently denounced Sridhar’s motives and demanded, on behalf of the renters, that the company withdraw all terminations. 

“This tight-knit community, where most children attend school next door at Paden Elementary School, is in danger of being completely torn apart,” said Pauling. “Sridhar is just using this as a smokescreen for evictions to get immediate high-market rates. This callous disregard for Alamedan families is not acceptable to our community and demonstrates why renters need protections.”

If the terminations do take place, families in the 34-unit complex — including dozens of students — will have to look for new residences. When asked about the terminations, a representative at Sridhar responded with no comment.