A Superior Court Judge ruled this week that Jack Halprin, a Google lawyer and Mission landlord, had failed to pay required relocation fees to a teacher, her partner and their son, who live in one of Halprin’s units at 812 Guerrero St., according to the court document signed on May 6.
The judgment, which will allow the tenants to stay for now, affects one of several households Halprin has been trying to evict by using the Ellis Act to take units off the rental market.
Claudia Tirado, one of the tenants named in the lawsuit, wrote in an e-mail to Mission Local that Halprin can appeal this decision or start the process again. He could also elect to drop the idea of evicting the tenants. “We still are waiting for the court’s decision on the other tenants,” Tirado wrote.
The ruling on Wednesday found that Halprin failed to pay the first half of the relocation fee to Tirado, a teacher, and her partner, Alexandre Queres de Barros. The ruling signed by Judge Ronald Evan Quidachay also said that Halprin failed to pay a relocation fee to Tirado’s son, Valentino. The ruling was first reported in Beyond Chron.
Tirado wrote in an e-mail that she had only heard from her attorney “that we won,” and she is still waiting for more details.
Tirado, who was represented by Stephen Collier and Joseph K. Barber from the Tenderloin Housing Clinic, has become an outspoken critic of the Ellis Act and its use by speculators who buy apartments at a bargain price because it has tenants under rent control, and then turn around and evict the tenants to take the building off the rental market. Speculators often then sell the units at a much higher price per unit than they had paid.
“Why doesn’t he buy a regular house, why does he have to take seven units off the rental market,” Tirado asked Mission Local at an earlier protest in front of Halprin’s building.
Evan Wolkenstein, another teacher in the building, and several other tenants have also filed cases against Halprin, who purchased the building three years ago. “We still are waiting for the court’s decision on the other tenants,” Tirado said.
The lawyer and landlord filed Ellis Act evictions against all six tenants in February 2014.
We are updating this story as we get more information. Updated on May 9 to include an e-mail from Tirado.