SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — The city of San Francisco has filed a lawsuit against a local property owner claiming she has been harassing and intimidating her rent-controlled tenants out of their apartments.
The San Francisco Chronicle reports that City Attorney Dennis Herrera alleged in a lawsuit filed Thursday that Anna Kihagi has employed strong-arm tactics to displace tenants the nine properties she partially owns.
"Anne Kihagi is among the most abusive and lawless landlords I've encountered in my tenure as City Attorney -- and I've gone after a lot of lawlessness by landlords," Herrera said in a statement on Friday. "It takes breathtaking cruelty to so aggressively bully and displace even elderly and disabled tenants from their rent-controlled homes, especially in the midst of our severe housing crisis. But Ms. Kihagi's apparent contempt for her tenants seems rivaled only by her contempt for the law. She defies city enforcement orders, deceives city agencies and even the Superior Court, and flouts statutes intended to protect law-abiding businesses from having to compete against scofflaws and cheats.
Karen Uchiyama, an attorney representing Kihagi, says her client has done nothing illegal and is the victim of discrimination.
West Hollywood attorney Jonathan Holub says the city has multiple criminal and civil cases pending against Kihagi. He says the cases involve tenant harassment, illegal evictions and unpaid fees and penalties. Kihagi used to have four buildings in West Hollywood, but sold two of them.
NBC Bay Area's Lisa Fernandez contributed to this report.