Residents of numerous apartment complexes in east San Jose are staging a tenant revolt against property management.
The tenants allege unhealthy living conditions as well as threats of evictions whenever a complaint is lodged. The issue has garnered the attention of top city leaders.
"I'm said because I don't have anywhere to go and I have three kids," said Nancy Alvarado, an evicted tenant.
Alvarado was given a 90-day notice to leave her apartment in the Santee neighborhood, where she and her family has lived for nine years.
Residents around 45 fourplexes around Santee Drive said they are fed up with unhealthy living conditions and "retaliatory" evictions. The apartments are run by Realty World Premier Properties.
The neighborhood is used to an unsettled atmosphere.
About 20 years ago, a court injunction required landlords to hire security guards to protect against street gangs. Realty World was asked by the city to run the complexes because of what was considered a good reputation.
The management company said it was told to, in essence, clean up the neighborhood.
Alvarado said she believes her eviction is due to a homeless brother who hangs around the complex.
"Security tells me 'if I can't get your brother out from this place, I have to get you out first for him to leave,'" Alvarado said.
Mayor Sam Liccardo was so concerned about what he heard form some tenants he came to meet them at a private meeting.
"I think when they see the mayor is there, it hopefully encourages more of them to step up and be able to speak out," Liccardo said. "As we try to evaluate what the facts are, and also as we're contemplating legal action, to have people willing to testify. That's important."
Realty World said it welcomes the scrutiny and has held numerous meetings with the city housing department, which has not found any retaliatory evictions.