San Francisco Sues Landlord for Feces And Rodent-Infested Properties

Talk about a city of extremes.

On one hand, you have multi-million dollar properties and rents surpassing Manhattan's, neighborhoods where one bedrooms average $3,500 per month. 

And then, there are landlords like Yick On Wong, who the city of San Francisco is suing for letting his rental properties in the Richmond District and Nob Hill sink into such a terrible state of neglect that they are infested with rodents, feces, and a multitude of other violations making it a public nuisance as well as threat to public safety.

The lawsuit was filed after Wong ignored warnings from the city's Department of Building Inspection about building code violations and ignored abatement orders for over a decade, continuing to collect rent from his tenants the entire time.

Attempts to reach Wong this week were not immediately successful.

The buildings names in the lawsuit are located at 505 26th Ave. and 1254-56 Leavenworth St. At least 19 complaints have been filed for the city with for the Leavenworth property. The city has received at least 112 complaints for the building in the Richmond District.

“For more than a decade, Wong has refused to meet his most basic obligations as a landlord — including providing heat to his tenants,” said City Attorney Dennis Herrera.

Herrera said that Wong’s combination of deferred maintenance and patchwork illegal construction, including hazardous unpermitted electrical wiring and an unstable rear deck and stairs, has endangered his tenants.

“The egregious number of violations rob tenants of the safe and habitable home they are entitled to as paying renters,” Herrera said. “It is time Wong complies with the law and his obligations as landlord.”

Herrera's office told NBC Bay Area that Wong was making at least $15,000 a month in rental income from the Leavenworth property alone.

Other violations detailed in the lawsuit include damaged and dilapidated walls and ceilings, peeling paint posing a lead hazard, water damage, mold, gas leak, failure to provide heat, hazardous plumbing conditions, an illegal unit subdivision, missing smoke and carbon dioxide detectors, and the list goes on. 

The lawsuit alleges that since 2002, Wong has "endangered the health, welfare and safety of the neighbors, the residents of the City and County of San Francisco, and the people of the state of California."

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