Notorious local landlord Anne Kihagi, who was sued by the SF city attorney two years ago after numerous reports about her shady eviction tactics and unfair treatment of tenants, has now been sentenced to five days in jail for violating provisions of the Ellis Act at one of her properties in West Hollywood. She's also been ordered to pay for the city attorney's fees and costs associated with her case. WeHoVille reports that Kihagi, who has also been known to go by the names Ana Swain and Ann Swain, has been in a legal battle with the City of West Hollywood going back nine years now, ever since a tenant brought a lawsuit against her after she tried to evict everyone from an eight-unit building using the Ellis Act and then was caught re-renting one of the emptied units something which is not legal under the Ellis Act.
The Ellis Act provides for a landlord to "go out of business" and turn a rental property into for-sale units. The 1985 law makes it illegal to re-rent units or to continue to operate as a rental property, however that appears to have been what happened here in 2012, though Kihagi has been challenging a court decision, at one point getting it overturned on appeal because she proved that two units in the building were already vacant when she removed the building from being a rental property.
Kihagi allegedly retaliated against the West Hollywood tenant who brought the suit against her, cutting off his hot water and electricity something she's been accused of doing to tenants in San Francisco as well, where she owns more than 50 units spread between the Mission, Castro, and Noe Valley.
Former supervisor Scott Wiener once called Kihagi "a sociopath who has no regard for the lives or well-being of her tenants and no regard for the law," and City Attorney Dennis Herrera called her "a ruthless predator [who targeted] tenants in rent-controlled apartments for harassment and illegal evictions, and singling out seniors and people with disabilities for particularly despicable abuse."