DALY CITY (KPIX 5) — A family accused of defrauding landlords appears to be at it again. Last year, KPIX 5 was there when they were evicted from an apartment in San Bruno. This week, they were found squatting in Daly City.
They are the family with a reputation as the tenants from hell. Amber and Tony Menjivar live upstairs from them. Tony’s sister is the landlord. Tony said she let the family move into the basement unit out of pity, because the mother was in jail.
“She wanted to give her a hand,” Tony Menjivar said.
But within weeks, Deborah Derivero was back home, and pity turned into frustration.
“Within two weeks of moving in she had changed the locks,” said Amber Menjivar.
The Menjivars had to call the police to get their belongings out of the garage. The pile is now sitting in their living room. And the tenants’ broken down car is blocking the driveway.
When they stopped paying the rent, the Menjivars realized they may have been conned. “She comes in, she knows that she has 3-4 months legally, and that’s her game,” Tony Menjivar said.
That’s when Amber Menjivar went online, and found two KPIX 5 reports on Deborah Derivero, doing the same thing to another hapless homeowner.
“I looked at the stories and I thought to myself, here’s part three!” she said.
Turns out there are more than three parts to this story. KPIX 5 found eight evictions against the Derivero family in the past six years.
“Unfortunately there are some people like Ms. Derivero who move from property to property,” attorney Aaron Farmer told KPIX 5.
Farmer represented not one, but two landlords that tangled with Derivero, one after the other.
“The sheriff comes to remove her from the first property on one day and literally the next day she is moving into the next property,” he said.
Farmer showed KPIX 5 documents from his last case: A bad check written to a closed account, a rental application with a fake name, even a doctored paycheck stub from a job as a legal assistant.
“I called the law firm. They said oh she hasn’t worked here for years,” said Farmer. “To know that she has done this multiple times, it’s just horrible.”
KPIX 5 wanted to ask Derivero about that. She talked to us from behind a closed door and told us we had the wrong person, because she isn’t even on the lease.
We told her whether she is on the lease or not, the rent has to be paid. Then she asked us to leave because the police were on their way. Sure enough, the tenants had called the cops on us.
“Hopefully, hopefully this kind of interview will keep these kinds of people from hurting others that’s all,” said Tony Menjivar.
KPIX 5 asked Tony, “Would you call them squatters?”
“Professional squatters. Serial squatters,” he said.
“I really think she should be prosecuted for this. You know she is hurting a lot of people,” said Amber Manjivar.
The tenants have just been served a three-day notice, but the eviction process usually takes several months, and without any rent coming in, and a mortgage to pay, the Menjivars say the family is in danger of losing the house.
Farmer told KPIX 5 he believes Derivero gets away with it because she specifically picks small landlords advertising on Craigslist that may just have one unit or an in-law to rent, and don’t do too much checking.
He suggests that any landlord that doesn’t have time to do a background check and confirm references hire an expert to do it for them, at www.intellirentsf.com