Slum Lords are defined by the Urban Dictionary as being "people who own property and rent it out to low income people for more than the property is worth and never bother to keep the rentals up to health code standards". This is a serious problem for Davis in part due to the large student population. Davis students residents are prime targets for slum lords because of their lack of time, money, and need to live close to campus all combine to limit their pool of choices and force them to accept conditions that would otherwise be unacceptable. Students also tend to have little experience with how to deal with bad treatment from management and may be willing to simply accept poor conditions.

Students who have had bad experiences might be surprised that not all property managers are blood sucking leeches. Unfortunately, some property management companies in Davis either attempt to swindle their tenants or abuse them through simple inept management.

Alleged Slum Lords in Davis

Specific property managers that, because of constant feedback from Davis residents are almost assuredly Slum Lords.

  • Acadian Properties — Only most of the properties: their properties are not directly managed.
  • College Town Realty — Many tenant complaints about illegal withholding of security deposits, illegal cleaning and repair charges at moveout. See comments about College Town Realty on daviswiki and at apartmentratings.com.
  • Ralph Serrano—Owns a few properties around Davis. Rarely fixes anything and his places are falling apart (drafty windows, walls have cracks, etc), illegal cleaning and repair charges at move out, withholds majority of security deposit, threatens to sue you if you confront him. Avoid renting from him!
  • Ram Sah — Owns multiple houses throughout Davis. Does not have his houses cleaned by licensed cleaners in between tenant changes. Does not fix anything unless threatened with safety standards.

How to Deal with Slum Lords

Document everything. Keep all paperwork you are given, and if possible, correspond via email so that you have a record. Failing that, keep a record of all phone calls.

Anybody know what legal support is available?

Comments:

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2005-10-07 16:44:07   Acadian properties doesn't really own the properties it rents. It's more of a slum lord facilitator. They also manage nice properties too. The property owner has a lot of discretion as to what improvements/repairs Acadian is permitted to make. So, I'd not bash Acadian too much: When I lived on Russell (right next to Rite Aid), they were amazingly attentive. —JaimeRaba


For anyone caught with a bad property manager, here is a bit of advice:

  • Always get every promise by them in writing, and keep a copy of anything you send them or sent from them.
  • Take dated photographs of the residence when you move in, even if they promised to fix something. Report any and all damages, when you move in on the move-in inspection forms.
  • Read your rental contract carefully, make sure you agree with everything listed and that all ambiguity is clarified.
    • Check to see what they are supposed to repair given the contract.
    • Of course, keep a copy of this contract too.
  • If they violate lease terms, take this up with them immediately, report them to the authorities, make as much noise as possible for as long as possible.
  • If they do not own the property, find out who the owner is, and hound them as well.
  • If you are a student, remember that you get free time from a lawyer, which you may wish to use in dealing with this company.
  • Ask questions, hound them, you are paying them for their services, complain in writing, in person, and by phone.
  • If the property is unlivable, or your complaints go unaddressed you are likely able, and should simply break your lease.

~DavePoole


2010-06-23 16:49:51   I have had a nightmare experience with Parva Properties aka Kobra Properties aka Abe and/or Kobra and/or Parvaneh Alizadeh. —PeriSiepman


2011-07-06 10:20:34   Sharon Blaha is another slum lord here in Davis. Upon moving out, she charged me for repairs/cleaning that were not even performed. Also charged for painting after the house hadn't been painted in >7 years. She owns a property on Parkside, Norte, and perhaps one other in Davis. She also plays favorites, where she will allow a particular tenant leeway that is not granted to other tenants on the SAME lease. —achassy