SAN JOSE (KPIX 5) — San Jose is going after an apartment building owner, who is accused of letting his tenants live in rat and mold infested units.
We’ve been documenting the problems at the building on Rexford Way for months now.
Inspectors finally got a look inside today. The Rexford Apartments have a long history of code violations.
The city says they try to be impartial and make no judgments, but say they are keeping a close eye on it and they’ll be there waiting if the repair deadlines are missed.
The city of San Jose, and housing activists are making sure Mike Lucich, who owns 1525 Rexford Way, is feeling the heat.
A code inspector spent the morning visiting more than half a dozen units for a so-called “initial inspection”.
Over the past month, we showed you roaches, mold, roaches, rats, roaches, broken windows and did we mention roaches?
On our visit Wednesday morning, it did look like some effort was made to repair the problems. We didn’t see any cockroaches, and the windows looked okay. There also wasn’t much visible mold.
However, one tenant — who didn’t want to appear on camera — still had some electrical problems.
Her subfloor still needed work and there was an unexpected visitor. That tenant said there was a rat while the code enforcement officer was visiting.
Lucich only has a couple of weeks before the deadline to finish the repairs is up. The city says he is so far doing everything they are asking him to do.
Last month, when we first met Lucich, he initially denied he was the owner, and didn’t want to talk. He wouldn’t talk to us this week either.
He lives in what is dubbed Villa Lucich, a 3-story, 6-bedroom, 6-bath mansion on a hill in Los Gatos. With 6,400 square feet and a giant pool, it’s worth nearly $4 million, according to Zillow.
Randi Kinman is the president of the Sherman Oaks Neighborhood Association said, “He’s kind of like a poster child for what you shouldn’t be doing as a landlord.”
Kinman is keeping a close eye on the apartment complex because many tenants are too scared to speak out and complain for fear of retribution.
Kinman said, “Sitting on your wealth that you get from people who are a lot of times receiving vouchers, or receiving rent assistance, who are terrified of losing their only homes, while you sit up in the hills with your swimming pool.”
There a re some repair deadlines coming up later this month and in early September, if he misses those deadlines than this goes to an appeals hearing board. If he is found in violation, than the owner could face fines of $2,500 per violation per day.