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Grandmother In Rent-Controlled Apartment Accused Of Dealing Drugs By New San Francisco Landlord

SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) -- A 70-year-old grandmother is fighting to stay in her rent-controlled apartment in San Francisco's Mission District after a new landlord accused her of buying drugs for neighbors.

Sylvia Smith has called the apartment home for four decades, living under three other landlords.  She says the newest landlord has her at the end of her rope.

"She's a big son of a gun," Smith said.

Smith, who lives in a rent-controlled $1,700 a month unit says that when landlord Anne Kihagi Swain bought 1135 Guerrero Street it didn't take long for the intimidation tactics to begin.

"She's accusing me of buying drugs for neighbors, and buying marijuana for all neighbors in the building," Smith told KPIX 5, and she's not alone.

Other tenants say Swain is harassing them; stopping mail delivery, not depositing their rent checks, and tenant Ryan Andersen said "at one point she cut the Internet cable and didn't restore it for three weeks."

Smith says she is no troublemaker, and just wants to spend her life in the home she's made near her family.

"This is my home.  I've been here since my kids were in kindergarten in St. James.  My daughters are two blocks away from here."

Swain owns nine buildings around San Francisco, and declined to comment.  Her lawyer says her client is just asserting her rights as a landlord, and calls the tenants troublemakers.  The lawyer also insisted that the tenants are in the wrong, at times illegally subletting their units.

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