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SF city attorney files suit against code-violating landlord

PIX Now Afternoon Edition 6-2-23
PIX Now Afternoon Edition 6-2-23 09:10

SAN FRANCISCO - San Francisco City Attorney David Chiu is suing a Bernal Heights landlord over dozens of alleged building and fire code violations going back years.

Chiu filed the suit Tuesday against 320 Alemany LLC and Jack Tseng, who is accused of doing unpermitted work, illegally converting units and creating "significant fire safety issues" at four neighboring multi-unit buildings.

"These properties create serious fire hazards," Chiu said in a news release Friday. "After dozens of illegal conversions, the landlord has made significant profit from the same tenants he put in harm's way. We are taking action to ensure the safety issues are corrected and the landlord is held accountable."

The suit claims Tseng illegally converted 13 units in the properties at 316 to 328 Alemany Blvd. into 32 illegal units.

As a result, Tseng is facing 26 violations of building, electrical, fire, health, housing, planning and plumbing codes that he has yet to take care of, according to the City Attorney's Office.

Among the buildings' alleged hazards are bedrooms with no emergency exits, inaccessible emergency exits, an ineffective fire escape and pest infestations. 

"The fire hazards are so severe that the Department of Building Inspection issued emergency orders requiring two of the units to be vacated immediately," according to Chiu's news release.

The suit seeks to force Tseng to make all the repairs necessary to bring the properties up to code, pay for the tenants' relocation, allow the tenants to return after the properties are fixed up and asks the court to appoint a receiver to make sure the work is done property.
It also seeks fines of more than $11 million, in addition to court costs and attorney fees.

Tseng didn't immediately respond to a request for comment.

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