Rent control is a regulation for the cost of housing. The government controls and regulation is meant to stabilize the cost for renters. For instance, California’s rent control has 15 different municipal laws for 15 different cities that utilize rent control. The basic idea is to alert the renter 30 days in advance when cost changes.
Veritas Investment’s Tactics
Over 100 tenants are accusing Veritas Investments of running off rent-controlled renters out of their units. Veritas owns 300 residential buildings throughout San Francisco. The lawsuit filed for sixty-eight plaintiffs on October 11 is the fourth lawsuit filed against Veritas Investments because of unfair and biased tactics.
- Veritas Investments continue to purchase property and are known to force out rent-controlled tenants.
- Renters have reported that unscheduled construction at disruptive times is one way that Veritas creates an unbearable living space.
- The construction is not to update units. Renters that filed suit complain about the lack of repairs when unneeded construction takes place.
- Tenants complain in their lawsuit that Veritas Investments shut off utilities with no warning. They shut off gas and water for long periods of time.
- Veritas uses a workaround called “pass-throughs.” It is a way to increase rent by using high-interest loans and forcing the renters to pay the interest charges.
“This is one of the biggest lawsuits ever filed by tenants in San Francisco,” attorney Ken Greenstein said. “Veritas Investments has made it clear they want to get their rent-controlled tenants out.”
Greenstein advises that those who rent from Veritas Investments should contact their rent board, supervisors, and Department of Building Inspection if they feel harassed or blatantly mistreated.
Veritas Investments’ Response
The COO of Veritas Investments, Justin Sato, said in a statement that their properties are in need of improvements.
“We have not been served, so we cannot respond to allegations we haven’t seen. However, we dispute all claims that we are hostile or negligent toward our valued residents in any way,” Sato said. “We are proud of our record as a landlord in San Francisco, and the data The City keeps about our work is contrary to these allegations. We look forward to refuting them.”