Friday, January 14, 2011

Menlo Hotel Orders Residents to Vacate by Saturday

By Rachel Swan
Fri, Jan 14, 2011 at 1:58 PM

Bed bugs, roaches, poor heating, rodents, bad plumbing, and inoperable smoke alarms are among the many hazards that have plagued low-income residents of Oakland's Menlo Hotel. Now, property manager RMD Services is giving its tenants two days to vacate, according to a report by ABC Channel 7 News. Although the managers told ABC 7 that they didn't intend to evict anyone, most residents have already received notices. Some are without recourse, and worry about being left on the street. Meanwhile, the property owner is making plans to renovate and sell the building, ABC reports.

RMD Services has been the subject of several lawsuits for code violations at the Menlo. Web reviews suggest that living conditions are no better at its other properties, including the similarly-dilapidated Ridge Hotel on 15th Street. Attorney Andrew Wolf has represented Menlo residents in multiple litigations against RMD and its founder Ryan Isaac Nathan (née Suren Narayan Swaminathan). Wolf accuses Nathan of opportunism and intimidation tactics, while Nathan insists that he's actually doing a service for low-income renters. That would come as surprising news to the 31 residents who sued RMD in 2009, citing a whole slew of California Health and Safety Code Violations.

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