LANDLORD & Tenant Abused, Misused and even some murdered In unusual ways with the help of their connections
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LANDLORD & Tenant Abused, Misused and even some murdered In unusual ways with the help of their connections
1At the strong arm of the Landlord do as they say or get out a d sometimes  connection government or not e forced. They own the land and some not all Lord all over their tenants and some tenants do it in reverse. You decide who is right or wrong your opinion matters to us
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Wash. appeals court considers landlord’s libel suit over high school newspaper « Student Press Law Center

Wash. appeals court considers landlord’s libel suit over high school newspaper « Student Press Law Center | LANDLORD & Tenant Abused, Misused and even some murdered In unusual ways with the help of their connections | Scoop.it

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Erik Schwab's comment, August 31, 2012 5:58 PM
This case intrigues me because it raises the question of whether or not a school district is accountable for content published by students. In this case, I would say no, the school district is not responsible. The school claims that it does not censor the paper due to the First Amendment. According to "Mazart v. State of New York (1981)," a school cannot be held liable for the content of a student-run newspaper if it does not exert control over what is allowed to be published. This is important to note, because it suggests that censorship of a student newspaper actually makes the school liable in the event of a libel suit.
Vikki Howard's comment, September 2, 2012 1:24 PM
Thoughtful comments Erik--School newspapers have long been the source of litigation for libel. Usually, it is members of the school itself who file for libel. The courts have ruled differently on the responsibility/ability of schools to mediate content in school papers to avoid libels--may depend, in part, on the age and legal sophistication of students
Vikki Howard's comment, September 3, 2012 12:29 AM
Really? you think shady sports deals happen all the time? I don't know, but what did you think about the school's responsibility for school newspaper content? Do you think Sisley is vulnerable here? How would this student be safe? The truth?
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S.F. Buildings Needing Earthquake Retrofits 60% Higher Than Estimated!

S.F. Buildings Needing Earthquake Retrofits 60% Higher Than Estimated! | LANDLORD & Tenant Abused, Misused and even some murdered In unusual ways with the help of their connections | Scoop.it
The number of San Francisco buildings vulnerable to collapse in a major earthquake is far greater than the city estimated when it passed a sweeping mandatory housing retrofit law, according to new data from earthquake inspections.

Engineering and architectural inspections filed by building owners through mid-September, to comply with the city’s requirement to shore up older wood-frame buildings, show that 4,806 apartment buildings need to be retrofitted — about 60 percent more structures than the city estimated when drafting the law.

The buildings may be home to about 60,000 to 70,000 residents, said Patrick Otellini, the city’s earthquake safety director.

That estimate will likely grow as building owners perform the retrofits, submitting detailed information about their properties in the process, said Micah Hilt, a planner in the city’s Earthquake Safety Implementation Program. Before the law passed, the highest estimate of affected residents was 58,000.

Buildings on the list also contain about 2,000 businesses, according to city documents. Owners of some of these businesses now face displacement, or closure in an increasingly expensive real estate market.

The February 2013 law requires retrofits in three to six years, depending on the type and use of the buildings. Additional demand for specialists in earthquake repair could mire San Francisco in new construction that could interrupt retail activity, inconvenience tenants and make it even harder to find qualified contractors and rental space.

San Francisco’s iconic wooden, big-windowed apartment buildings, with their quaint first-floor shops, are some of the most problematic. Garage doors or glass-fronted stores on the ground floor are prone to weaken load-bearing walls, making these so-called soft-story buildings vulnerable to collapse.

The mandatory retrofit law targets wood-frame structures built before 1978, with three or more stories and at least five apartments. Many buildings of this type collapsed in the Marina District during the 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake.

Displacement Concerns

In most cases, tenants can remain during retrofits. But first-floor businesses often need to vacate until the work is done.

One business owner has already been disrupted. Bibliohead Bookstore in Hayes Valley shut its doors on Sept. 19 so that the landlord could perform a soft-story retrofit on the building. But owner Melissa Richmond said she will not be able to return to that location when the work is done.

The landlord told her the retrofits and other remodeling would take four months, and when the building reopened, she said, “he is planning on doubling the rent.” A sign in the window told customers to look out for a new location. But Richmond said she did not yet know where.

“My entire future is in the balance as there are no mechanisms to protect me,” she wrote in a letter to customers on the store’s website.

T2J Thai Restaurant on Polk Street closed in July. A sign outside cited “soft story compliance,” and customers on Yelp have lamented its disappearance. The restaurant’s telephone number is no longer in service.

Staff at the Department of Building Inspection, the agency charged with enforcing the retrofit requirements, said they had not received complaints about business closures, but added that program is new and few owners have started construction.

Residents of the buildings, however, have some safeguards from displacement or steep rent hikes. Though landlords can recoup all of their out-of-pocket retrofit expenses by raising rents over a 20-year period, they cannot add more than $30 annually to the rent for that purpose.

Still, many residents are uncertain about their rights. “We have received a lot of questions about how the program works,” said Robert Collins, deputy director of San Francisco’s Rent Board.

Tenants could avoid paying increases by asserting financial hardship, such as proving that retrofits pushed the rent above 33 percent of their household income.

Preparing for Major Quakes

City staff were working in early October to begin posting warning signs on the front of properties whose owners failed to file inspection reports in compliance with the retrofit law by the deadline in mid-September, Otellini said.

“EARTHQUAKE WARNING!” the city placard reads. “This building is in violation of the requirements of the San Francisco Building Code regarding earthquake safety.” Similar signs have appeared in other cities in the Bay Area, including Berkeley.

The 361 buildings that must display the placards constitute only about 5 percent of all the buildings in the retrofit program. “That’s an awesomely small number,” Hilt said, and it represented a “significant buy-in” from each building owner, who had to accomplish a series of steps by the deadline. “It’s not like paying a parking ticket,” he said.

Public notices are intended to alert residents who have no idea that their homes might be vulnerable. But so far, not everyone is alarmed enough about the danger to worry much about it.

“I don’t know anything about the ordinance,” said Jill Bittner, a resident of a Bay Street townhouse whose owner filed a building inspection just before the city’s deadline. “Frankly I’m more concerned about the car fumes” on the highly trafficked street, which she said were more likely to kill her than an earthquake.

Under the city’s soft-story retrofit rules, buildings used for education, convalescent residences or religious worship have the shortest retrofit deadlines. They must complete the work by fall 2017. Larger buildings with 15 apartments or more must be finished by 2018. Structures with commercial space on the ground floor, and those in geological liquefaction zones, have until 2020.

Though Otellini offered a rough estimate of 60,000 to 70,000 affected residents, he said it was impossible to be more exact than that because the city had not required inspectors to report the number of dwelling units in each building. That might have forced them to reveal that tenants were living in illegal in-law units.

“We didn’t want to put inspectors in that kind of difficult position,” Otellini said. The city will have an exact count only after owners file official work permits through the 2020 deadline.

More Accurate Count

When the soft-story law took effect early in 2013, city staff sent letters to landlords of 6,539 buildings, in an effort to “cast a wide net,” said William Strawn, spokesman for the Department of Building Inspection. At the time, he said that already “a couple of thousand of these probably have been retrofitted.”

The letters told landlords they must have their properties inspected by engineers or architects qualified in earthquake safety.

The new total of 4,806 buildings that have been deemed unsafe and needing retrofits shows a much more widespread problem than previously thought. The ordinance itself cited an estimate of “at least 2,800 buildings.” That was based on a rough analysis by engineers and inspectors, who arrived at that total after conducting sidewalk surveys, as part of the city’s Community Action Plan for Seismic Safety.

The report found concentrations of vulnerable buildings across the city, “most notably in the Mission, Western Addition, Richmond, North Beach, and Marina neighborhoods.”

Strawn did not comment on whether the large number of verified vulnerable buildings had surprised city staff. “The program is providing us with more accurate data,” he said.

As San Francisco’s legislation was being prepared last year, a scientist for the U.S. Geological Survey told the Public Press that an earthquake of at least magnitude 6.7 had a 63 percent chance of hitting the Bay Area by 2038, according to the latest projections.

The earthquake centered on Napa County on Aug. 24 was the largest since 1989. It measured at a 6.0 magnitude, USGS reported, and caused hundreds of millions of dollars in damage and numerous injuries.

To properly brace for the next major earthquake, San Francisco’s Department of Building Inspection estimates that landlords will have to spend between $60,000 and $120,000 on each building’s retrofit.

This story is a follow-up to a package of stories about earthquake safety in the Winter 2012-2013 print edition of the San Francisco Public Press.

Via Bornstein Law & Bay Property Group
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Bornstein Law & Bay Property Group's curator insight, October 9, 2014 12:51 PM

The report found concentrations of vulnerable buildings across the city, “most notably in the Mission, Western Addition, Richmond, North Beach, and Marina neighborhoods.” 

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Safety is Not a 4-Letter Word

Safety is Not a 4-Letter Word | LANDLORD & Tenant Abused, Misused and even some murdered In unusual ways with the help of their connections | Scoop.it

Simply put, a culture of safety must permeate commercial biodiesel production. Too often personnel, communities and property have been at risk of catastrophe because preventive safety regulations for facilities that handle flammable materials were not followed or had never been introduced. But the knife cuts both ways and, in some cases, governing bodies, particularly those enforcing the rules, lack inspection budgets, protocol or clear direction on whose responsibility it is to ensure these facilities are operating safely. Biodiesel producers have a confusing mix of regulations and jurisdictions they must follow and report to that includes OSHA, U.S. EPA and National Fire Protection Association codes; fire marshals and state regulations that may be more stringent, but not less than, federal regulations; and local ordinances, zoning and building codes that may be more restrictive than state requirements. Overlooked sometimes in the confusion is outreach to those who are most important at the time an incident occurs—the local fire departments and first responders.


This confusion isn’t isolated to the U.S. either. Last year in St. Boniface (Winnipeg), Canada, a major fire at Speedway International, a biodiesel facility situated in an industrial zone close to residential housing, rocked the city. It caused surrounding residents to evacuate the area, $15 million in damage, and locals to scratch their heads wondering who is responsible for their safety. A year later, a local committee approved a report stating the city must develop a plan to regulate industrial sites in the future, and requested another report be conducted on how inspections and enforcement of industrial sites are presently done.


St. Boniface city councilor Dan Vandal spoke on AM 680 CJOB radio. “I’ve got mixed feelings on the report,” Vandal says, “and parts of it are alarming.” The fact that railcars with hazardous materials are not subject to monitoring is “very alarming, because that’s a railroad part of town,” he says. “I’m disappointed that one year after, it’s not any clearer who is responsible for monitoring and inspecting industrial sites that have environmental licenses.” He says fire departments in the city have time to inspect other things, “but an industrial site with an environmental license is a priority,” he says. “I would like the fire departments and the province—because they are awarding these licenses—to put priority on doing inspections and follow up with industrial sites that have environmental licenses. I don’t know why it took a year to come back with a report. We’ve lost many months where we could have started the process.” Vandal did not respond to requests for an interview.


Alabama State Fire Marshal Ed Paulk has been in the news for his refusal, after two fires, to let a biodiesel plant in Jackson County reopen until it meets code. “People don’t seem to understand the wisdom of understanding what the code requires,” Paulk tells Biodiesel Magazine. He says the biodiesel plant was a retrofit in an old foundry. “There was no rhyme or reason, no engineering in determining what the requirements were, no engineering to determine what the life safety requirements were, and we can’t make a buck ‘til we produce product—that’s the thinking that everybody has,” Paulk says. “That’s what causes our bad record, and that’s what causes things to go wrong.


If any business in Alabama wants to open a facility that is 2,500 square feet or larger, or if it is an assembly or educational occupancy of any size, it has to be designed by a design professional. Retrofitting a foundry for biodiesel production is a change in occupancy, or subclassification within an occupancy, and kicks in the requirement that an architect or engineer must determine if the structure is compliant with the requirements.“If you change your occupancy type, from when the building was originally built, then you have to meet the codes as they are today,” he says. “You need to get this piece to this puzzle in place early, and our law requires that.” The state fire marshal can’t levy fines for violations, but it can shut a business down.


Like many states, Alabama adopted the National Fire Prevention Association and international building codes.“That’s what we design to, and that’s what the minimum standards are,” Paulk says. Under these codes, something that may seem obvious is, if you’re in an environment like a biodiesel plant where flammable vapors may be present, electrical wiring must be installed in an explosion-proof configuration, he says. But there are also static discharges and other sources to cause ignition. Methanol vapors are heavier than air so they’ll travel to the lowest point and remain until something moves them along or ignites them. “So design of our process to eliminate available vapors escaping into the atmosphere, that’s one method of reducing the fuel that you’re putting out there,” Paulk says. “And that’s all it is—a fuel—and its one job in life is sitting around and waiting for something to make it go ‘bang.’”


Larry Sullivan, owner of consulting firm Larry D. Sullivan and Co. Inc., says he’s always encouraged people in chemical design to look at fitness for purpose. “If you’re dealing with methanol, then it requires a very high fitness for purpose,” Sullivan says. “That means you’re going to have to pay more for the quality of the material and equipment.”


Another clear source of fire at biodiesel plants is spontaneous combustion, whether it’s ensconced filtration media or other material. Spontaneous combustion is a decomposition process of organic material, an exothermic reaction. “Once this process starts, as heat builds up, it will dissipate and continue to build until it combusts,” Paulk says. “If it feels warm, you’ve got to do something then to mitigate the hazard.”


In Orange, Texas, last spring, several people were killed, many first responders, in the infamous fertilizer plant explosion. “While fighting the fire, they had one of these ‘uh-oh’ moments, when all of a sudden things really went wrong,” Paulk says. “If, in fact, the people there had kept in close coordination with the local fire department, and understood the types of things they were storing—especially the quantity of things they were storing—chances are someone might have foreseen this hazard and prevented the catastrophic event.” Sullivan says a lot of biodiesel plants have emerged in recent years, “but they don’t have an outreach to the community,” he says, but to have hospitals, fire departments and EMS be prepared, they must.


Chris Barron, executive director of the State Firemen’s and Fire Marshals’ Association of Texas, also a volunteer fire chief, says as a local fire chief he’d like to know from biodiesel producers what they are producing, what daily production is and what materials routinely go in and out of the plant. “And then of course what kind of fire suppressants they have and their emergency response team,” Barron tells Biodiesel Magazine. “Those things might help us respond to possible disasters or medical calls.” 


Iowa, home to 12 biodiesel and an astounding 41 ethanol plants, only has one inspector in the fire marshal’s office handling flammable liquids plants: Jeffrey Miller, deputy state fire marshal. He says projects are required to submit a plan review before construction—engineered drawings of the plant, what they have for fire protection and ensuring everything per the code—but existing plants are not subject to inspection unless a complaint is lodged.


 “Our adopted codes are the NFPA, which basically covers the major requirements for the facilities,” Miller says. “One of those requirements is that the facility should have an emergency action plan. We encourage the facility to communicate this with the local jurisdiction that would be responding to them.” But, he says, since most of these facilities are in rural areas, many of the fire departments are volunteer. “Most of our volunteer fire departments aren’t even equipped well enough if something catastrophic happened at one of these facilities,” he says. “Most of the small departments aren’t going to have adequate enough foam on hand. Through NFPA, which we’ve adopted through the state, it requires that the facility themselves should provide, or have, the equipment to suppress a fire. Basically, we put it all on the plant owner to be able to provide enough fire suppression or fire protection for the facility.”


Years ago, U.S. Congress mandated OSHA and EPA to develop regulatory requirements that would, when companies implemented it, help prevent catastrophic releases of hazardous chemicals: the Process Safety Management program. Biodiesel producers with more than 10,000 pounds (only 1,250 gallons)—virtually all commercial facilities—must implement a PSM program. “Within that program, there’s one element referring to Process Hazard Analysis,” says Robert Voncannon, senior consultant with Bureau Veritas. “OSHA requires companies that fall within their defined scope to do a process hazard analysis and a HazOp (hazard and operability analysis) is one methodology recognized as acceptable.” Voncannon adds that if a plant meets OSHA’s PSM threshold, it’s likely also subject to EPA’s Risk Management Plan, adding more regulatory red tape. “If you’re subject to that rule, then you have to submit that to EPA,” he says. Sullivan says HazOp analyses for biodiesel plants “should really be a high-order type simply because you’re dealing with methanol.”


HazOp analysis is a highly structured methodology involving examination of a process or system for possible deviations from the design, construction, modification, or operation intent, Vancannon explains. “To start a HazOp study, you take information about the process, the P&IDs (piping and instrumentation diagrams), break that whole process down into manageable pieces called nodes,” he says. “Once you identify each node, you subject each to questions that are formulated around guidewords.” There is a specific set of guidewords that the methodology requires following (No or Not, More and Less, As Well As, Part Of, Reverse, and Other Than). Then each parameter of every node is subject to the guidewords. The methodology itself is used to identify hazards or operational problems. “It doesn’t correct anything in itself,” he says. “If you wanted to build in safety stops in your process, it would give you information on the severity of a possible deviation.”Once consequences to those deviations are identified, a qualitative risk ranking is conducted, leading to development of a risk matrix. “With that information, you can determine what else needs to be done, what other safeguards need to be put into the system,” he says. “Once you identify the recommended actions, then you assign responsibility in your organization to ensure that those actions are taken or the recommendation addressed.”


In the end, it appears that, as Miller says, safety of personnel and the community is up to the plant. “I wish we could outreach more on whether they’re communicating with the local volunteer fire departments,” he says. “And a lot of [departments] do get involved because they know that, eventually, they will get called to the facility. I don’t know how well they’re working with the locals, but we haven’t received too many complaints that they are or aren’t.” Paulk says his No. 1 recommendation is simply follow the rules. “If you want to go into business, find out what the rules are,” he says. “Contact your local building and fire authorities, find out what the requirements are, and follow those rules. And above all else, just obey common sense.” After all, once those big, red trucks turn on their lights and sirens and roll out of the station, nobody’s a winner.


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Why Is the City of Wilson,NC not' condemning' houses their own code fine not habitable to be lived in? 

Why Is the City of Wilson,NC not' condemning' houses their own code fine not habitable to be lived in?  | LANDLORD & Tenant Abused, Misused and even some murdered In unusual ways with the help of their connections | Scoop.it

Per the City of Wilson Housing Code 43, residential dwellings that are found 'unsafe' per City inspection is unfit for human habitation. The house at 613 Singletary St. SE was found ' Life Safety/Unsafe Conditions to the point the ,'Utilities , are per inspection report as XNo beside Utilities Released' category of the City of Wilson,NC Housing Inspection Report, Courtesy Inspection requested by the Tenant and done 8/12/16.. On the same inspection report in the category of Building Exterior it was found per X mark has also Life Safety/Unsafe Conditions marked. Under theUtilities Released' category with X mark beside No, there is category which read as 'Life Safety/Unsafe Conditions and in that category their is X mark beside Yes and for the same category there is an X marked beside Building Exterior/Interior X mark beside Electrical also X mark beside Plumbing. This house on and per the City of Wilson,NC Housing inspection report findings per City of Wilson Housing Code 43 which states rential dwelling found Unsafe per Housing Code 43 is not habitable for human to dwell in. We ask why did City Inspector Jeff Breedlove not condemn this house 8/12/16 instead of allowing more harm to be encured because of the house and its owner James R. Speight words and actions per his decisions? Who is accountable the City of Wilson or the Owner. Both have money that get them what they want at the tenants loss. Its not OK! for houses that qualify to be condemned to be rented out instead to tenants! 

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Why is it when the NC public schools and their attorneys/legal Law Firm attorney Rep. commit the crime of Truancy for years at a time the parent can be the one to do their time because they are not...

Why is it when the NC public schools and their attorneys/legal Law Firm attorney Rep. commit the crime of Truancy for years at a time the parent can be the one to do their time because they are not... | LANDLORD & Tenant Abused, Misused and even some murdered In unusual ways with the help of their connections | Scoop.it

Thank you please share as its time to get our word out to the news outlets and all as they say they have defeated us but we are not defeated but we need your help as Persons Banned From Schools unite! and move forward. If others do not know there is a problem it will continue to be ignored speak for and with us! Its get it out now!! Thank you, ALL! For any and all help! 


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You Almost Get the Idea That We’ve Never Built a Pipeline Across a River Before - Say Anything

You Almost Get the Idea That We’ve Never Built a Pipeline Across a River Before - Say Anything | LANDLORD & Tenant Abused, Misused and even some murdered In unusual ways with the help of their connections | Scoop.it
shares Facebook Twitter Google+ Print Email RedditAs the protests aimed at stopping the Dakota Access Pipeline, as a means toward ending oil development generally, continue we are inundated with claims that the pipeline represents a risk to clean water. That was certainly the argument from the protesters yesterday who migrated north to the stat

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Tax Preparer Pleads Guilty to Running Ponzi Scheme

Tax Preparer Pleads Guilty to Running Ponzi Scheme | LANDLORD & Tenant Abused, Misused and even some murdered In unusual ways with the help of their connections | Scoop.it

Robert H. "Bob" Van Zandt pleaded guilty Monday to a 33-count indictment lodged against him, including securities fraud and grand larceny. In exchange for his plea, Justice Martin Marcus agreed to sentence Van Zandt to between three and two-thirds to 11 years in prison.

Securities fraud is a serious crime which my office will prosecute to the fullest extent of the law," New York State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman said in a statement Tuesday. “Mr. Van Zandt stole his victims’ life savings, forcing some of them to re-enter the workplace after their retirement and others to rely on government assistance to survive. The perpetrators of this and other Ponzi schemes will face justice.”

Van Zandt ran the Van Zandt Agency, a tax-preparation business in the Bronx, for decades. Starting in 2007, Van Zandt began accepting investments from tax preparation clients. In many cases, these investors handed over their entire life savings to Van Zandt. Van Zandt solicited money from unsuspecting clients, promising guaranteed rates of returns. Starting in approximately 2008, Van Zandt’s alleged investment opportunities turned into a purely Ponzi-style scheme, according to prosecutors.

Van Zandt guaranteed high rates of return to new investors, promising to invest their money in lucrative securities, including real estate projects that were, in fact, impossible to build. The money was not invested as promised, but rather was used to pay previous investors or diverted for personal expenditures.


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'There's times you'd just wish you were dead' - Everyday life living rough under the M50 - Independent.ie

'There's times you'd just wish you were dead' - Everyday life living rough under the M50 - Independent.ie | LANDLORD & Tenant Abused, Misused and even some murdered In unusual ways with the help of their connections | Scoop.it
This camp under an M50 slipway in Finglas is home to a Dublin couple facing into their fourth winter of homelessness.

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Dorothy Retha Cook's curator insight, October 31, 2:19 PM

  • Lord God please HELP!

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Is this kerosene heater being used right or wrong when used when its over 70 degrees warm

Is this kerosene heater being used right or wrong when used when its over 70 degrees warm | LANDLORD & Tenant Abused, Misused and even some murdered In unusual ways with the help of their connections | Scoop.it

God bless all stay safe.

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Dorothy Retha Cook's curator insight, October 31, 6:08 AM

Lord God have mercy.

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Danger unware but so many having no other lternative but then there are those who use illegal reason 

Danger unware but so many having no other lternative but then there are those who use illegal reason  | LANDLORD & Tenant Abused, Misused and even some murdered In unusual ways with the help of their connections | Scoop.it

Be careful with kerosene usage.

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How Do You Throw a Birthday Party When a Child Is Homeless?

How Do You Throw a Birthday Party When a Child Is Homeless? | LANDLORD & Tenant Abused, Misused and even some murdered In unusual ways with the help of their connections | Scoop.it
For families that can’t afford necessities, birthdays are a luxury. Several charities are stepping in to help.

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Jeremy Reynalds's curator insight, September 9, 1:22 AM

It's a good question. To learn more about what we do for the youngsters staying at Joy Junction, call our volunteer line at 505 463 4818.

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Good landlords | Shelter blog - Sleeping with the Enemy?

Good landlords | Shelter blog - Sleeping with the Enemy? | LANDLORD & Tenant Abused, Misused and even some murdered In unusual ways with the help of their connections | Scoop.it
Good landlords

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Richard W J Brown's curator insight, June 17, 2014 12:52 PM


What is this then...do I detect a shift in position from Shelter here?

 

Over a sustained period, we have seen sensationalised headlines and scaremonger claims from Shelter that portrays the Private Rental Sector (PRS) and Landlords in quite a bad light and this has caused a rift between one of the influential representatives of the tenant community and the PRS / landlords. This does not help and as I have previously stated - we should all be pulling in the same direction if we are to raise standards and eliminate bad landlords but equally bad letting agents and let's not forget bad tenants too!

 

This statement is thin on the ground in terms of what exactly working with 'good landlords' will mean to Shelter but at least it is a start of hopefully a more reasoned, balanced and realistic perspective going forward?

 

We can only wait and see how this unfolds, so in the meantime I guess we may remain 'strange bedfellows' for now at least.

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Airbnb sues hometown San Francisco over rental regulation

Airbnb sues hometown San Francisco over rental regulation | LANDLORD & Tenant Abused, Misused and even some murdered In unusual ways with the help of their connections | Scoop.it
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — San Francisco wants people who rent out their homes through Airbnb and other online platforms to follow some rules, and it wants the platforms to advertise only those rule-abiding listings — or face steep fines. That means Airbnb and others must stick to advertising San Francisco hosts who have registered with the city and haven't exceeded the number of nights they're allowed to rent. The penalty? Platforms can be fined up to $1,000 a day per violation. Now, Airbnb is suing its hometown, arguing that it's not responsible for making sure hosts follow city rules and that San Francisco, the place that birthed some of the world's most innovative startups, is undermining a bedrock principle that allowed those companies to flourish in the first place. In its federal lawsuit filed in June, Airbnb states San Francisco's ordinance violates a federal law that has long shielded websites such as Facebook and YouTube from responsibility for information posted by users. In this case, it's the legality of vacation listings. Legal experts say Airbnb has a good shot at prevailing in court, but that government also has a legitimate interest in regulating health and safety, which includes housing in a city that's among the most expensive in the country. "This is going to be the first of many kinds of legal battles around the platform economy. I'm sure that other companies are going to mount similar kinds of defenses when they're in regulatory crosshairs," said Vivek Krishnamurthy, assistant director of the Cyberlaw Clinic at Harvard Law School's Berkman Klein Center for Internet & Society. "At some point," he said, "governments are going to have to be able to regulate these things." Airbnb faces challenges elsewhere, including New York where legislators last month approved a bill making it illegal to advertise online entire homes for less than 30 days. Last month, the Anaheim City Council voted to phase out and ban short-term rentals in the home of Disneyland. This month, the city council in Berkeley voted to penalize landlords who list multiple units for less than two weeks. Eric Goldman, co-director of the High Tech Law Institute and law professor at Santa Clara University, said he's not surprised the issue is playing out in San Francisco, a city with a massive housing shortage and little room to expand. "It's easy to see how the combination of scarce housing units and the health and safety issues associated with short-term rentals, or short-term tenants, leads to San Francisco potentially being at the vanguard of regulatory efforts," he said. Airbnb, the world's largest short-stay online rental company, makes money by taking a cut of peer-to-peer rentals. It says it's an intermediary connecting hosts and travelers. Advocates of San Francisco's ordinance, however, say the new regulation is no different than requiring car rental agencies to verify that a driver has a valid license. Critics of Airbnb have long complained that the business model encourages landlords to take rentals off the market for short-term use. Airbnb supporters say they couldn't continue to live in San Francisco without the extra money they make renting out space. San Francisco started requiring hosts in 2015 to register, but more than a year later, only 1,500 people have done so out of thousands of listings. The Board of Supervisors approved its latest regulation in June. The company filed a lawsuit with the U.S. District Court of Northern California, claiming the ordinance not only violates its First Amendment rights but is pre-empted by the federal Communications Decency Act of 1996. The section of law cited by Airbnb states that "no provider or user of an interactive computer service shall be treated as the publisher or speaker of any information provided by another information content provider." Legal experts say the provision is why Amazon can offer user reviews, blogs can post comments and Facebook can repeat defamatory remarks without fear of being sued. Supervisor David Campos, a longtime Airbnb critic, said it's ridiculous to paint Airbnb as a passive intermediary, when the company actively recruits hosts to populate its service. Still, he introduced amendments this month to make sure the city prevails. If approved by the board, the revised ordinance would levy a fine on hosting platforms only after they accept a fee for booking an unregistered unit. "They can't get away with this illusion and fantasy that all they do is put out stuff on the website," he said, "because that's not the business model." A spokeswoman for Airbnb issued a statement saying that the changes "still wouldn't resolve the legal shortcomings that were raised in our complaint." At some point, said Krishnamurthy of Harvard Law's Cyberlaw Clinic, a court somewhere may decide that the broad protections provided by the Communications Decency Act "cannot swallow the entire world" so that online speech is immediately shielded. "It can't trump everything in our society," he said. "It's not the only value in our society."

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Anti-homelessness helpline now receiving call for help every 30 seconds

Anti-homelessness helpline now receiving call for help every 30 seconds | LANDLORD & Tenant Abused, Misused and even some murdered In unusual ways with the help of their connections | Scoop.it
The Conservative Government is shifting its policy on homelessness – although whether it will be effective has yet to be seen. After years of laissez-faire slackness regarding the causes of h…

Via britishroses
Dorothy Retha Cook's insight:

Homelessness  comes in ways that are not the typical homelessness as per meaning of the term homeless or at least it wasn't made public knowledge because of the society social judgement shame and embarrassment imposed on the homeless as well as their family members both natural and spiritual also. Its just amasing how being deemed as homeless gives possibilities for so much injustice to the homeless. Some have been unjustly diagnosed with forms of mental illnesses they do not have but it appears to be so and just think how many are in mental hospitals, denied freedom to pursue justice against those who criminalize them because they have no physical address to file charges in and or with the cost by. Then there are situations where the homeless find temporary shelter but can not use the address as they are not suppose to be on the property and or its stated can stay but can't use address for any purpose. Stop the evictions as with the new incoming government togetherness as some already do will be a way of survival.

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NYC Housing: A Clear and Present Danger



In the wake of New York City's devastating gas explosion and fire in the East Village, which destroyed residential buildings and injured dozens of New Yorkers, there couldn't be a more critical time to take a serious look at New York's housing situation.

In moving to New York City a few months ago, little did I know that my building in East Harlem (which hasn't had gas for months and lacked hot water and heat intermittently throughout the winter) was already the subject of a major lawsuit, the focus of a scathing Daily News story, and under the supervision of a monitor assigned by Governor Andrew Cuomo.

Castellan Real Estate Partners (aka Liberty Place Property Management), backed by Hedge Fund investors, never notified me of any of this when I moved into my East 117th Street apartment. I only became aware after attending a community meeting this past week (see picture below) hosted by a local East Harlem community organization, Movimiento por Justicia del Barrio (Movement for Justice in El Barrio). Attended by the Mayor Bill De Blasio-appointed Commissioner of the New York Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD), the apparent gap between community concerns over dignified housing and the city's willingness to address them is serious and substantial.



No stranger to housing issues, having lived in southeast Washington DC where the fight for dignified housing in Anacostia was real and heart-wrenching, I was witnessing a whole new level of frustration. There's little faith left in East Harlem that HPD is "preserving the stability and affordability of our existing housing stock", which is its stated mission. In fact, some of my neighbors feel that HDP is in collusion with the landlords, refusing to crackdown on bad behavior in an effort to gentrify the neighborhood.

They have a point. In NYC, it's working like this: A landlord fails to fix the myriad problems with the building, intimidates and harasses tenants, and makes life unpleasant or unbearable in an effort to usher out lower-income tenants and usher in higher-income tenants. Frustrated tenants either leave on their own or refuse to pay full rent, the latter of which finds them in court with landlords like Castellan. I can attest to this behavior with Castellan/Liberty. After filing innumerable complaints with the landlord and the city, regarding hot water or heat outages or lack of gas over the last four months, I too considered withholding rent but failed to pursue it knowing Castellan's proclivity to take tenants to court (in fact, they boast some of the most tenant-related court cases in the city).

Instead of HPD, it was Movement for Justice in El Barrio who helped me and others, securing reimbursements for tenants who suffered exorbitant electricity rates for the hot plates that supplanted what should've been gas stoves. And it is the same organization that will likely ensure that any gas restoration in Castellan apartments, like my own, will be done safely and avoid the catastrophic occurrence in East Village. The unresponsiveness of the City's 311 service, which I called to report heat, hot water and gas outages, never followed up with an inspector or inspection.

If Mayor De Blasio wants to do something about the "tale of two cities", on which he campaigned, a great start would be to crack down and kick out landlords who refuse to provide dignified housing for New Yorkers. His HPD Commissioner, at the community meeting this week, didn't seem to fully register the utter disbelief and discontent mounting among the many in East Harlem.

A serious approach that would make a real difference in the lives of East Harlem residents, and many other neighborhoods that are equally vulnerable and victim to abusive and corrupt landlords, would follow the recommendations proffered this week by Movement for Justice in El Barrio. These are practical and pragmatic recommendations and, if implemented, can have a positive impact on the lives of many in East Harlem, including myself. Hopefully the Mayor, and his team at HPD, will listen. The list, which was inspiringly and powerfully presented by several staff from the Movement for Justice in El Barrio, is long. But all of it necessary. Here's what needs to be done.

Mount a citywide public education initiative about HPD's responsibility to safeguard quality, affordable housing and publicize the 311 hotline and HPD's role in addressing maintenance issues.

Hire community outreach workers to distribute multilingual literature about HPD's role in El Barrio and similar neighborhoods in all 5 boroughs. Materials should publicize the 311 hotline where tenants lodge complaints regarding housing code violations.

Establish administrative tribunal to collect fines for code violations.

Grant inspectors the power to write citations against owners which must be paid immediately upon finding violations left unrepaired during a reinspection.

Establish an East Harlem HPD Oversight Team composed of members of local tenants' associations to review HPD's performance in East Harlem.

Establish an East Harlem HPD liasion who will take complaints lodged collectively by tenants' associations.

Community outreach workers who carry out the HPD Public Education Initiative in East Harlem will report to the East Harlem HPD Oversight Team so the Team can measure the overall effectiveness of the program.

The East Harlem HPD Oversight Team will review for approval all materials that HPD provides to tenants as part of the HPD Public Education Initiative.

HPD will provide written reports to the East Harlem HPD Oversight Team on housing complaints, inspections and code enforcement in East Harlem every 6 months.

Consolidate all information about HPD on one web location and publicize this webpage in HPD Public Education Initiative materials and advertisements.

Fulfill the responsibility of the Emergency Repair Program, making all emergency repairs not completed by the landlord in the designated amount of time, and bill the landlord.

Mount a special public education promotion during the heat and hot water season advertising how the ERP is supposed to function in cases of lack of heat and hot water.

Hire community outreach workers that provide information about this program in all 5 boroughs.

Inspectors must carry violation notifications in all available languages with them at all times.

Mailed printed violation reports to be in tenant's primary language.

For all emergency conditions, especially when we don't have heat and hot water in the winter, HPD should improve their response: inspectors must be dispatched in less than 24 hours and must notify landlords of the violation immediately and the requirement to make the repair within 24 hours; fine owners when the repair is not made within 24 hours.

Assign special emergency inspectors.

Provide inspections 24 hours/day 7 days/week.

Increase the number of inspectors.

Give inspection appointments, with date and time, to everyone who lodges a maintenance complaint, so that residents suffering in poor housing conditions can make arrangements, so that their apartments can be inspected.

Inspectors to provide all tenants with a written result of the inspection in the language that the tenant can understand, signed as proof of inspection with the date and time of the inspection.

For non-emergency complaints, send tenants written notification of inspections with exact time and date at least 24 hours prior to the inspection.

Guarantee HPD call-backs to tenants to find out if violations have been repaired.

Expand the Alternative Enforcement Program annually to include 1,000 of the city's most poorly-maintained residential buildings.

Additional requests:
HPD to provide a written update/report (in three weeks)
HPD to attend a follow-up meeting (in late May)


Going forward, I expect Juan Gonzalez at Daily News to write about this again. I certainly will write more if things don't change for the better or if HPD doesn't make the aforementioned course corrections any time soon. And hopefully when Con Edison does, in fact, give the green light to turn on our gas, our building will be ready and rightly constructed for it. Fingers crossed.
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Rescooped by Dorothy Retha Cook from WAKE COUNTY SCHOOLS Being investigated by Federal Government for Discrimination of African American STUDENts meeting held with Federal gov. please continuing praying and sharing
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Page 2 of City of Wilson Housing code inspection done 12/8/15 by M. Harris

Page 2 of City of Wilson Housing code inspection done 12/8/15 by M. Harris | LANDLORD & Tenant Abused, Misused and even some murdered In unusual ways with the help of their connections | Scoop.it

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Dorothy Retha Cook's curator insight, February 5, 5:13 AM

For the young lady that filed lawsuit against Ralph Hodges for mold

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There is something about Landlord that sends his Agent to ILLEGALLY evict tenant with appeal filed and no writ served

There is something about Landlord that sends his Agent to ILLEGALLY evict tenant with appeal filed and no writ served | LANDLORD & Tenant Abused, Misused and even some murdered In unusual ways with the help of their connections | Scoop.it

The landlord sent his agent/ brother on his behalf to tell the tenant they can get out on their own or they would come back and put them out of the property they had filed an appeal of judgement for and paid bond of stay of ejectment. Agent given copy of paper work and receipt for stay of bond as the house was found unsafe conditions by city housing code inspection even after landlord plumbers 8/11/16 did repairs. There is so much more to be posted in other posts but just saying. Landlords with money , status and family members in high places can do good or evil by their tenants. Is illegal evicting, WRONG or RIGHT? Asking your opinion.

Dorothy Retha Cook's insight:

Is it wrong or right? Illegally eviction , ignoring filed court case appeals filed county clerks office?

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Corrupt justice: what happens when judges' bias taints a case?

Corrupt justice: what happens when judges' bias taints a case? | LANDLORD & Tenant Abused, Misused and even some murdered In unusual ways with the help of their connections | Scoop.it

Divorced Long Island mother Margaret Besen tells her five-year struggle to get justice, just one story in the hundreds of judicial transgressions revealed in a Guardian and Contently Foundation for Investigative Reporting a collaboration...


Via D. F., Dorothy Retha Cook
Dorothy Retha Cook's insight:

That is also for others who have the same power as judge but have different Titles like Magistrate in State of NC and are more, check your State. When the Landlord per him is married to a well known honored Judge daughter in the District the Landlord filed eviction case unjustly against a tenant and the Judge that is the Landlords Fatherinlaw per the Landlord and is not the presiding Judge of the case being heard but he walks threw the court room and speaks to all but nod in landlord direction as he exits the room Magistrate, Eviction Court is being held which intimidated the Tenant and gave bias favor to the landlord in the case with the Magistrate.To the point the landlord Stated on 8/10/16 he came to the property he rented to the Tenant and there was Carbon Monoxide leaking In the property and the tenant refuse to let him or his plumbers in to do repairs to gas hot water heater,shower plumming. Per Magistrate notes and was used to award the landlord his property back to him but that was untrue the City gas was terminated May,2,2016 and tthe Magistrate was given evidence that proved there was no active gas in the rental property sense May 2,2016 and most definitely not on 8/10/16 as the landlord ssis but the Magistrate decision was not based on the evidence  presented on that matter but based on bias favor to the landlord provided his Father in law/ Honorable Judge to Magistrate/Judge bias favor. The case was decided  before It was called to be heard! Where is Justice well we know where it was not! How many other tenants have been robbed of Justice because their landlord and not them got connections with Judge/Magistrate like this one has?

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Exclusive: Man dies in Rikers Island cell, family says he was denied medication

Exclusive: Man dies in Rikers Island cell, family says he was denied medication | LANDLORD & Tenant Abused, Misused and even some murdered In unusual ways with the help of their connections | Scoop.it
There is exclusive and disturbing new video of a man in custody after a landlord tenant dispute.

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Local Records Office is a company that specializes in generating property profile reports for new homeowners and for those who want more information on their land - Video Dailymotion

http://www.local-records-office.me/about-us/ Local Records Offices is a company that specializes in generating property profile reports. If you have never heard of such documents rest assured that you are not alone. However, it is important that you educate yourself regarding these resources because, if you are a property owner, they can greatly improve your ability to make smart real estate decisions. Most basically put, a property profile report is a document that outlines a wide range of details regarding your real estate assets. Each report covers one specific address, providing information regarding property history, transaction details, and even surrounding demographics. As such, this type of report is extremely valuable to individuals who are considering selling their properties or who simply want to know how much their real estate assets are worth—and why. When you invest in a property profile report from Local Records Office you will receive a comprehensive document that speaks to a long list of topics. Here are some of the details that you will find: http://www.localrecordsoffices.net/local-records-office/ Criminal Activity: While it is true that crime happens in virtually all neighborhoods, it is also true that criminal activity is more prevalent in some than in others. The information covered in your report will highlight both crime that has taken place on your property and crime that has occurred within the community. Your report will break this information down into easy to read categories, including larceny theft, robbery, murder, aggravated assault, forcible rape, burglary, etc. Academic Organizations: The school system that is located in your property’s community can have a great impact on the real estate’s value. As such, it is a wonderful idea to learn more about the educational institutions that are located in your area. Your report will highlight the quality of these schools according to the API, or Academic Performance Index. Furthermore, it will provide information regarding student teacher ratios, population, etc. http://www.local-records-office.me

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Failing care home is 'extremely dirty' — inspection

Failing care home is 'extremely dirty' — inspection | LANDLORD & Tenant Abused, Misused and even some murdered In unusual ways with the help of their connections | Scoop.it

A CARE home has been placed in special measures after an inspection found it "extremely dirty and untidy".

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201410094

201410094 | LANDLORD & Tenant Abused, Misused and even some murdered In unusual ways with the help of their connections | Scoop.it
Soy. Kerosene heater w/ Sake in pot [Red] [TSS / Oct 10]
#NuLL. *KOTATSU (Topboard: wood, Color: dark blue)
#NuLL. Low Display Shelf+Zabuton
[HD]KAKEJIKU(Hanging scroll)-The New Year-
#NuLL. Japanese Cabinet
.:Standby Inc.

Via Romyka Mars
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Kerosene heater used in the right way, well large space with open well ventilated room.

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Gas fitter admits causing death of Co Antrim students in holiday home

Gas fitter admits causing death of Co Antrim students in holiday home | LANDLORD & Tenant Abused, Misused and even some murdered In unusual ways with the help of their connections | Scoop.it
A Coleraine gas fitter has admitted causing the manslaughter of two Co Antrim students who died of carbon monoxide poisoning at a holiday home on the north coast.

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Every Landlord's Legal Guide

Every Landlord's Legal Guide | LANDLORD & Tenant Abused, Misused and even some murdered In unusual ways with the help of their connections | Scoop.it
Book Description Every Landlord’s Legal Guide gives landlords the legal and practical solutions they need to rent residential property right. From move-in to move-out, this book covers a wide range of issues, including fair housing, repairs, sublets, screening for good tenants, and... http://www.ebookma.com/pdf/every-landlords-legal-guide.html
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Check before you rent: How a TED Fellow is holding New York City landlords accountable

Check before you rent: How a TED Fellow is holding New York City landlords accountable | LANDLORD & Tenant Abused, Misused and even some murdered In unusual ways with the help of their connections | Scoop.it

Cockroaches. Moldy walls. Stolen deposits. Bad landlords happen to all of us, and it can be impossible to tell before moving into a property whether the experience will be a good one, especially in housing-short cities like New York, where landlords seem to hold the cards. But TED Fellow Yale Fox is looking to change that with RentCheck — a new rental search engine that not only finds apartments but rates properties and landlords based on consumer reviews and the city’s open data.


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THE *OFFICIAL ANDREASCY*'s curator insight, April 12, 2015 1:24 AM

Why RentCheck is grading apartment buildings on their quality of life