Protesters outside Kaushik Dattani's office in February 2014. Photo by Mark Rabine.

For Kaushik Dattani, a tax preparer and property owner in the Mission, tax day may be especially taxing. Dattani is one of Eviction Free San Francisco’s “dirty dozen,” a landlord with a reputation for serial evictions, and the group is using April 15 to draw attention to the landlord’s recent Ellis Act evictions.

“We’re hitting him where it hurts,” said organizer Erin McElroy about the group’s plans to picket outside Dattani’s office at 2 p.m. on 22nd and Bartlett and lead a phone campaign urging Dattani to rescind the evictions of tenants at 3305 20th Street.

In February of this year, housing rights activists held a similar protest outside of Dattani’s office. According to McElroy, Dattani is a serial evictor with a history of using the Ellis Act to flip units.

“He’s actually a property flipper, he’s bought properties only to evict tenants and turn buildings into condos,” McElroy said. “There’s clear proof that he entered and exited properties numerous times.”

In 2007, Dattani received a summary judgment to use the Ellis Act to evict 12 tenants at 3465 19th Street to convert the building to Tenancy in Common (TIC). As the San Francisco Bay Guardian reports, the eviction came after Dattani received a $1.3 million loan from the Circle Bank of Marin. The loan included a clause that he would take the rental units off the market and sell them as TICs.

As the Guardian also reports, Dattani had evicted tenants from a space above Revolution Cafe on 22nd and the owner of a flower shop.

Neither Dattani nor his son Tej, who is also a business partner, would comment for this story. Court records indicate that Dattani does have a long history as a landlord in the Mission. He currently owns at least four buildings in the neighborhood, including a nine-unit building on Capp and 17th, a single unit building on Capp and 22nd, a four-story condominium on 18th Street, and the three-story building on 20th and Folsom. Records also indicate that Dattani owns numerous properties in Richmond, many bought out of foreclosure.

Protesters will be picketing Dattani’s office at 2 p.m. today.

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Daniel Hirsch is a freelance writer who has been living in the Mission since 2009. When he's not contributing to Mission Local, he's writing plays, working as an extra for HBO, and/or walking to the top of Bernal Hill.

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  1. Erin McElroy is a hypocrite. She’s from Wilmington, DE. McElroy is a big moneyed family there. How do you think she can afford the dilettante life of knowing what’s best for poor people?

  2. Actually nothing can be further from the truth. Just because he doesn’t manage to evict everyone, you’re suggesting he is benefiting the neighborhood. That might be the dumbest thing I’ve ever read. There are many reasons this guy has been on lists like the dirty dozen – that’s because he’s a greedy scumbag that taking advantage of residents both old AND new. He is the worst kind of opportunist and a catalyst for the problems SF is facing today.

    1. Jay, you misunderstood. McElvoy’s allegation was that he buys buildings only to evict the tenants. She claims that is his sole motivation.

      That is disproven by the fact that he runs many rental buildings as going concerns,

      It’s not that some of his evictions fail. AFAIK, none of his evictions have failed and there is in any event no non-technical defense to an Ellis. But rather that he only evicts on a case-by-case basis, choosing not to evict in many cases.

      The fact that he has evicted a lot is because he owns a lot of buildings. Any large landlord will have done a number of evictions simply by the law of large numbers.

      A more meaningful statistic would be the evictions expressed as a percentage of buildings owned. On that basis, there are probably many worse than this guy.

      Seems to me he is simply performing due diligence on his property portfolio and cutting his lowers. Makes sense.

      1. John fails English comprehension again.

        ““He’s actually a property flipper, he’s bought properties only to evict tenants and turn buildings into condos,” said McElroy. “There’s clear proof that he entered and exited properties numerous time.””

        “He’s actually a property flipper.” is true if he has flipped properties.

        “he’s bought properties only to evict tenants and turn buildings into condos,” is true if he has bought properties only to evict tenants.

        That is different than the statement “he has only bought properties to evict tenants.”

        Words have meaning and word order is significant.

        1. LOL. I shoot down your point and you utter a one liner claiming that I didn’t?

          Is your dad bigger than my dad?

        2. My favorite part of these debates is where i make a barrage of well-argued points and you, knowing you are defeated, give up and resort to tacky snide one-liners.

          It’s always good to know not just when I win a debate, but the exact point when you know it too.

          So, thank you for conceding.

        3. Resort to ad hominem. Twist. Edit. The language she used is clear, you’ve misconstrued it intentionally and now are backing out by changing the subject.

        4. My 1:15 post remains the last word, as you have resorted to petty personal attacks and not addressed the substance of that.

          Anyway, you supporting Erin is a tad rich after what you said about her a couple of weeks ago.