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Landlord, City Settle Lawsuit Over Illegal Housing In Excelsior Laundromat

SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) – San Francisco City Attorney Dennis Herrera has reached a $620,000 settlement in a civil suit against a property owner and master tenant associated with substandard housing found in the basement of an Excelsior District laundromat, the city attorney's office announced Thursday.

Herrera filed a lawsuit against owner Melissa Mendoza and leaseholder Ernesto Paredes on Aug. 17, after firefighters entered the building and found a long list of unsafe conditions in the basement of a building at 4680-4690 Mission St.

City officials say there was no heat or hot water and no garbage collection. The pipes leaked and there was exposed wiring in the walls. The electricity was provided by a gas-powered generator.

There were three bathrooms but only one had a functioning shower.  There were roughly 20 residential rooms, with tenants paying from $300 to $900 per month, and the basement had been used for that purpose for at least 10 years, according to the city.

Mendoza will have to pay $600,000 to the city, and submit to court-supervision of any rentals she keeps in San Francisco for at least 10 years - including a requirement that all of her buildings be brought up to code.

Paredes will have to pay the city $20,000.

"We will not tolerate slumlords who prey on those struggling to get by," Herrera said in a statement. "If your business model is to violate the law and put people in harm's way, be prepared to be put out of business."

City officials say Mendoza and Paredes reached a $2.6 million settlement in another lawsuit brought by the tenants of 4680-4690 Mission St.

© Copyright 2018 CBS Broadcasting Inc. and Bay City News Service. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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