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Over 50 Tenants on Tehama Street Sue Building Owner for Damages

Despite being promised the best San Francisco has to offer, tenants at a luxury high rise in the city have spent months moving from place to place.

Several people who called the 33 Tehama apartments home are now suing after their building was flooded out.

According to former tenants, they were forced to move out due to massive flooding in June. They have yet to be paid back, they told NBC Bay Area.

“We saw water just pouring down the emergency stairwell, which was incredibly shocking to see,” said former tenant Stephanie Sunwoo.

“[I] opened the front door and there was a giant puddle pooling in the hallway which was alarming, because with all the electrical, I didn’t know if there was a life safety issue,” she said.

Sunwoo and more than 50 other tenants are suing Hines, the building’s management company alleging mismanagement, fraud and emotional damage.

Eric Stinehart, another former tenant, said he’s still fighting with Hines to get reimbursed for damages and housing costs.

“The amount of out of pocket costs without getting reimbursed was scary, and not being able to have any choice on where I was living because it’s so expensive in the city,” he explained. “I can’t just stay in a thousand-dollar-a-night hotel.”

The suit alleges that prior to the June leak and a subsequent leak in August, city records show several complaints – including ones about leaks – were made years prior.

Representatives of Hines said they’ve paid approximately $13 million in expenses for tenants since the problems began, including accommodations, parking, per diem, and other expenses. They say they’ve put more than 100 workers on the job.

“Since the water intrusion incident in June, our staff has worked around-the-clock to assist the displaced  residents with emergency and temporary relocation options” Hines said, in a statement. “We have provided  our residents  with temporary housing and funds for personal expenses. We have also worked tirelessly to repair the building, engaging leading experts to identify and address the  building’s mechanical  problems. 

“We deny the allegations pled in this complaint,  and we believe that during the course of pretrial discovery the court and the public will understand the true extent of our efforts to help those that had to leave their homes during these unfortunate and unforeseen events,” said Hines.

Bay City News contributed to this report.

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Source: NBC Bay Area

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