After a San Mateo family’s year-long battle with a woman renting a room in their house, the family said Tuesday their nightmare is nearly over.
On Monday, NBC Bay Area first reported the story of the Yang family, who said they were forced out of their own home and financially ruined when a woman renting a room in the house refused to leave.
But just days before the family was scheduled to appear in court for an eviction hearing that had been delayed for seven months due to the pandemic, they said Baiting Jiang, the woman renting the room, agreed to leave.
“When we received the letter from the lawyer, we were so excited,” said Alex Yang, 23, who was finishing his last year at UC Berkeley when his mother, a cook at a local Chinese restaurant, rented out the extra room to help pay the bills.
“I don’t know how to express this feeling. It’s the end of this,” he said.
Yang said soon after renting Jiang the room in August 2019, the relationship turned hostile, leading to verbal arguments and harassment claims on both sides.
The family said Jiang even intentionally flooded a bathroom in the house, leading to tens-of-thousands-of-dollars in water damage.
Yang said his mother served the renter with a 30 day notice to leave, but she refused. When the family tried to pursue an eviction case through San Mateo courts, COVID-19 delayed the case for seven months.
In the meantime, fearing for their safety, the family said they moved into a rental. Yang sometimes slept in his car to give his mother and 12-year-old sister privacy.
Jiang declined several on-camera interview requests from NBC Bay Area but, over the phone, denied the family’s allegations. On Monday, her attorney Joe Bravo said he was not authorized to comment.
With Jiang out of the family’s home, Yang says he fears she’ll victimize another family.
“Yes, yes absolutely. I need to let the judge know what kind of woman she is …We can’t let this happen to the next family,” he said.
The family still plans to take legal action against Jiang to pursue damages – damages in legal costs and property damage that they said could result in them losing their home.
“[Jiang] needs to know her behavior causes damages, and she should take responsibility for this,” Yang said.
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Candice Nguyen is an investigative reporter with NBC Bay Area. If you want to reach her about this story or others, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.