According to reports from the San Francisco Chronicle, a landlord notorious for using both legal and illegal means to evict long-term tenants in properties she acquired in San Francisco and Los Angeles has been fined $2.4 million by a San Francisco judge:
The judge’s tentative decision also voids pending evictions, including at 1135-1139 Guerrero St., where Kihagi is in the process of evicting several elderly tenants. The ruling bars the landlord from having contact with past, present or future tenants. Instead, she must hire an independent property manager, who must be approved by the city. Kihagi must also reimburse the city for all legal and investigation fees related to the case, which will top $2 million.
“I’ve gone after a lot of lawless landlords in my time, but Anne Kihagi has a special place reserved for her in San Francisco’s abusive landlord hall of fame,” said City Attorney Dennis Herrera, whose office sued Kihagi in June 2015.
Anne Kihagi began acquiring properties in San Francisco in 2013, and owns buildings throughout the Castro, Noe Valley and the Mission. She was recently sentenced to brief jail time in Los Angeles, where she also faced a lawsuit from the city, for contempt of court. However, Kihagi has never been charged criminally.
Kihagi’s name came up frequently at a recent hearing at the Government Audit and Oversight committee, where a representative from the City Attorney’s office discussed that a case against her was ongoing. A lawyer from the District Attorney’s office, however, told the committee that DAs around the state have not been pursuing fraudulent eviction cases since a 2007 California Supreme Court case made them virtually impossible to pursue. That makes it unlikely that Kihagi or others who abuse eviction law would ever face criminal charges for their behavior.