Anti-eviction Rally at Landlord’s Office

Han Li | 08/18/2017
Betty Rose Allen confronts landlord at his office

A San Francisco woman who is facing eviction from her landlord, together with her supporters and housing rights activists entered her landlord’s business office in San Mateo for a rally, negotiating for her continuation of tenancy.

No confrontation took place due to the landlord’s absence. Soon police came as the office employees failed to ask the protesters to leave. No one was arrested.

Betty Rose Allen, 58, moved into her home in San Francisco's Noe Valley neighborhood in 1978. After living in this same place for almost 40 years, she received the eviction notice in 2016 from her landlord, Tariq Hilaly, a tech company CEO, who bought this house in 2014. Tariq’s reason is his parents need to move in.

“It’s the Ellis Act.” Leslie Dreyer from the Housing Rights Committee mentioned the state law allowing the landlord to evict the residential tenant and switch the house for own-use. “Unfortunately, the law is on their side.” During the rally in Tariq’s office, Leslie kept questioning the office employees for their company’s purpose of promoting people’s health, and asking for a statement.

However, instead of delivering a statement on Betty’s situation, the office called 911. After several unfruitful conversations, Betty insisted to leave the office. Soon the police came and emphasized that the rally shouldn’t be held in the private business area.

In the petition to Tariq, Betty shows the support from the community that she has inhabited for decades, as hundreds of signatures are calling for the drop of the eviction on Betty.

“I like this community, and the neighborhood supports me, too”, Betty said with emotion, as she recalled that her mom passed away months ago. Activists described the eviction issuance and announcements were like “microwave” harassment to Betty and her family.
Legal battles are also ongoing. Currently, Betty and her lawyer are working on the related lawsuit to protect her housing rights.