Oakland Tenant Claims She is Being Forced Out Despite Moratorium on Evictions

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An Oakland woman who is out of a job because of the COVID-19 pandemic, claims her landlord is forcing her out despite the statewide moratorium on evictions all while dealing with coronavirus symptoms.

Darshellia Butler said she filmed her Oakland landlord forcing her way inside her apartment through a bathroom window last Wednesday. A day after she was told by doctors to remain at home under quarantine because she was likely infected with the coronavirus.

 “I’m really sick and I don’t want you to get sick,” said Butler in the video.

Butler is a freelance chef who moved in last November. She said she paid her landlord $250 a week for a room in the lower unit of the house but when the stay-at-home order went into effect, Butler warned her landlord she was out of a job.

“I told her I’m out of work, I am unemployed because of this,” Butler said.

This all happened around the same time Butler said she started showing coronavirus symptoms.

“I couldn’t talk I had no voice, my head my chest and everything. I felt like I had a fever,” she said.

Butler added that’s when the landlord started harassing her and claims she used tactics like shutting off the heat. She believes the landlord is trying to force her out so she can rent out the other rooms in the unit.

“She can’t rent to other people however respectfully I don’t think anyone is going anywhere right now because of the shelter in place,” Butler said.

The tenant showed NBC BAY Area text messages that she claims were sent to her by the landlord. One reads, “you and I both know you want something to pull all this so … I will pay you $500 cash to vacate today. Each day I will lower the offer by $40.”

“I’m tired, I just want to get better and get healthy,” Butler said.

The landlord denies the allegations and claims she went into the unit to repair a window lock.

She adds she will work things out with Butler, once she recovers and is working again.

Butler has lawyered up and plans to remain in the apartment until her quarantine period is over.

She’s set up a Go Fund Me page to help pay for a hotel room when she moves out.

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