As recently covered in a front page Fresno Bee article, the Fresno Inn ownership served illegal 3-day evictions notices on all tenants. In response, Tenants Together organized a community press conference condemning the evictions and demanding that the owner, Casa de Campo LLC, withdraw the eviction notices.
Initially, rather than comply, the landlord stepped up the harassment, serving a new round of illegal notices. The notices served on August 25 threatened tenants that building power and water would be shut off on Sept. 1. The notices caused great distress at the complex, with residents uncertain what the landlord would try to do over the Labor Day weekend to displace them.
The tenants, supported by Tenants Together, attorney Alessandra Muhawe, and community allies, refused to be scared out of their homes. They stood strong, threatening to obtain a temporary restraining order and have the landlord arrested if he followed through on threats to lock them out of their home. At the urging of Tenants Together, city officials also intervened and contacted the landlord about the threatened utility shutoff. Fresno Neighborhood Revitalization Manager Elaine Robles-McGraw and Deputy City Attorney Tracy Parvanian took prompt action to pressure the owner to refrain from illegal evictions and utility shutoffs.
In a breaking development on Thursday, landlord Casa de Campo LLC agreed to rescind both sets of eviction notices and refrain from further illegal eviction attempts or utility disruptions. The agreement to back off was successfully negotiated by Alessandra Muhawe, a Fresno attorney representing tenants at the Fresno Inn. This is a major victory for the tenants. Although much remains to be done, the immediate threat of eviction appears to be resolved for now.
With the bogus evictions hopefully a thing of the past, Tenants Together is calling on Casa de Campo LLC, LLC member George S. Lee, and manager William Leyton, to get to the business of improving living conditions for the tenants without further delay. The Fresno Inn tenants have suffered enough and they deserve to be treated with respect and in accordance with the law.