With approximately three weeks left until the deadline date of February 24th, what better way to continue this blog than with cheap theatrics. Coming from me you should be used to them by now.
When the unlawful detainer is served the process of fighting eviction will begin in earnest. The year long notice period has just been a waiting game. Service will be on the deadline date or any day thereafter.
Contrary to the damsel tied to the railroad ties images that eviction conjures up, there probably won’t be a time when I’ll have to turn on a dime and get out of here immediately. I’m expecting a long slog that will eventually be worked out by lawyers.
Up until now my landlord, Vince Young, and his attorney, Denise Leadbetter, have used the eviction process as a means of intimidation. And it’s worked. Five of the seven units did not want to fight them and they are now empty.
Those tenants were younger than me and at a very busy times in their lives building careers and going to school. They wanted to stay but didn’t want to deal with the hassel. And they had concerns about having their names associated with an eviction.
They envisioned scenarios of showing up at a job interview one day only to be questioned about a google search that showed they’d once been evicted. There is no nuance in the public’s thinking about eviction, if you’ve been involved in one you probably can’t be trusted. Eviction profiteers like Vince Young know this and it’s a valuable tool for them.
But, as I told my attorney, I am fortunate that my reputation was ruined decades ago. And I didn’t need anyone’s help in doing it.
The Real Estate Industry and its newsletter, the San Francisco Chronicle, like to ignore these tenants who give into the threat and don’t pursue a court action. They point to the 2000 eviction cases a year which does seem like a small amount.
It has been estimated, however, for every two units in a building that fight the action there are 3-5 units that do not. And when you consider the number of tenants in each unit, it ends up affecting people in the tens of thousands. Curiously, the City does not keep statistics on people who settle or just give up without going to court.
So, flipping into Norma Rae mode I mailed my February rent check yesterday morning. Let the countdown begin.