San Francisco rent: Tenants unite against new corporate landlords – The San Francisco Standard

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The fitness instructor turned senior care worker has lived in his 709 Geary St. building since 2010 and has seen Veritas come and go before Ballast and Brookfield took over at the start of the year. 

He compared the experience to being slowly exposed to poisonous gas over time. In his decade-plus living in the building, Valle said there were repeated plumbing and power issues on top of an elevator that routinely broke down. Just getting repair work started or unjust utility bill hikes reversed was a major hurdle, Valle said.

Valle and his neighbors formed their association last year after they realized their kitchen sinks were all backed up because of a plumbing issue. Like Giron’s building down the street, members of his group are withholding rent until the new owners meet their demands. 

So far, it’s working. Since the group’s first negotiation with Ballast and Brookfield, more repair workers have been arriving at the building, Valle said. On a visit last week, the elevator was also up and running again after it had been broken in the months before Veritas gave up the building. 

“I’ve always been the type of person who will try to fix things on my own before calling management,” Valle said. “I had to remind myself that we’re paying for them to be up to code.”

While the firm was unable to immediately respond to many of the allegations given to the Standard, it has responded in other press reports about similar claims.

Speaking to the New York Times, a spokesperson said many buildings in the Veritas portfolio are more than a century old and the company has worked hard to address the concerns of tenants, including broken elevators, spending millions of dollars on improvements. 

When recently asked about delayed response times, a spokesperson told KTVU that Veritas “has one of, if not the largest maintenance teams in the city, and responds to all maintenance issues that residents report to us. The vast majority of service issues are handled within days. Some can take longer, depending on the circumstances, during which time we communicate the issues and actions to residents and work to minimize the inconvenience.”

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