by Lynda Carson
[dropcap]O[/dropcap]ne of Oakland’s largest nonprofit housing developers has violated the rights of its tenants by using notices that were not legal to enter the tenants’ apartments. It owes an apology to all the tenants who had their rights violated.
In a shocking admission of wrongdoing, Lynn Newton, a property manager of the East Bay Asian Local Development Corporation (EBALDC), admitted on August 19 that the notices EBALDC used to demand entry into the tenants’ units in the apartment building at 829 East 19th Street in Oakland were not legal.
Under California state law, all notices to enter apartments of tenants are required to have a firm date posted on the “24 hour notice” when a landlord or its agent wants to enter an occupied rental unit on a specified day. A landlord is required to serve a “24 hour notice” in advance for each and every day the landlord wants to enter the tenant’s apartment.
The bogus notices served to the residents at 829 East 19th Street stated that the landlord wanted entry into their units “on or about” a certain date, meaning that the landlord may try to enter the apartment a day early, or a day later, or not at all, or who knows when. The bogus “on or about” notices are not legal notices under California law.
In response to the bogus notices, tenants posted “Do Not Disturb” notices on their doors pursuant to California Civil Code Section 1954, to reserve their lawful right to privacy. On August 8, about 25 percent of the residents received notices threatening them with eviction. The tenants were falsely accused of denying EBALDC entry into their apartments.
The tenants received notices warning that they had seven days to correct the violation or they may face eviction by EBALDC. Copies of the warning notices were placed by the building manager into the tenants’ files, and copies were sent to Oakland’s Rent Adjustment Program, and the Oakland Housing Authority.
Despite the admission of wrongdoing, EBALDC refuses to send follow-up notices to Oakland’s Rent Adjustment Program and the Oakland Housing Authority, to clear the names of the tenants that were falsely accused of denying management entry into their apartments.
After being reminded that the tenants were still fearful of receiving an eviction notice in the mail, EBALDC property manager Newton stated that he did not want to put anything into writing that would legally put EBALDC in jeopardy, but wanted the tenants to pass the word around to one another that they were no longer facing an eviction threat.
On August 19, building manager Danny Chen admitted that it was his signature on the notices threatening the tenants with eviction, but added that the notices were actually filled out by his supervisors Lynn Newton and Janice Yan of EBALDC.
As one of Oakland’s largest nonprofit housing developers, EBALDC has well over 1,000 rental units. Property manager Newton stated that EBALDC will change the “24 hour notices” being used in all of their residential rental properties to come into compliance with state law.
Note: Lynda Carson is a longtime resident at 829 East 19th Street in Oakland. She may be reached at email@example.com