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San Francisco Cracks Down On Landlord Over Deplorable Conditions

SAN FRANCISCO (KPIX 5) – The City of San Francisco is cracking down on a property owner it calls a slumlord, after numerous complaints about filthy living conditions at a building on Turk Street.

Leaking fixtures, broken heaters and cockroaches are still a problem at 308 Turk Street. Living conditions are so bad that the bank that holds the mortgage has placed the 20 unit property under receivership, something it hasn't done before.

A restraining order has also been issued against owner Atique Rehman, which prohibits him from having any control of the place.

"I think it's going to be better now," tenant Victor Campos told KPIX 5.

Jose Poot, also a tenant, agreed. "I think it would a nice change," he said.

Ivan Arguello hasn't taken a shower in his tiny studio apartment for two months. He said the contractor left after the owner stopped paying him. A bucket in his apartment collects water from a leaking toilet from a unit upstairs.

"I'm angry, I'm sad. But I don't do nothing, I can't do nothing," Arguello said.

Fed up tenants, mostly immigrants who don't speak English, filed complaints several months ago. They even protested in front of Rehman's restaurant to force him to fix the problems.

Rehman promised he would in an interview with KPIX 5 in January, even inviting us back.

"Two to three months, we should finish this problem. And then I'll call you back. You should come back," Rehman said in January.

"It was essentially a lot of promises and no follow through," said Deputy City Attorney Jerry Threet. The city also fined the owner $65,000.

Inspectors at one point found more than 200 code violations in the building. The problems ranged from broken stoves to leaking pipes. Tenants said many of those violations are still not fixed.

The city said the court-appointed receiver should fix all the problems in two months. Once all the problems are fixed, the receiver will sell the property.

KPIX 5 contacted the property owner several times this week and he declined comment.

(Copyright 2013 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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