By Lynda Carson
The Alameda County Superior Court ruled in favor of the City of Oakland against the notorious slumlords Hong Gardner and her husband John J. Gardner, in a case called “The People of the State of California VS Avalon Success, LLC.” The Gardners own properties in Oakland and Fremont, and have an office located at 1501 23rd Ave., in Oakland.
On March 24, 2011, the court ordered that the Gardners are not allowed to collect rents at their properties, must immediately abate all existing housing code violations, must end all future utility shutoffs due to their activities, and must comply with all relevant laws at their residential rental properties.
Additionally, the Gardners are not allowed to collect rents at their properties until they come into compliance with all of the court orders. The Gardners have also been ordered to pay all the relocation costs for any tenants that decide to move as a result of the injunction, and are not allowed to evict any tenants for non payment of rent, while so enjoined.
The Gardners are also ordered to immediately pay the Plaintiffs $30,300 in penalties and restitution, $2,433 in interest, and $25,420 in investigative costs. The Gardners must also immediately pay an additional $18,593 in sanctions. Failure to comply with these orders will result in the Gardners being held in contempt of court.
In Brief: The court specifically finds that the Gardners violated the Final Judgement and Permanent Injunction Pursuant to Stipulation (Stipulated Judgement) granted on May 25, 2010.
Since entry of judgement, the court finds that the Gardners have violated state and local housing codes and caused gas and water-service shutoffs at their four rental properties in Oakland. Additionally, the Gardners have also failed to employ property management, post notice to tenants, and make monetary payments as required.
The City of Oakland first filed suit against the notorious slumlords Hong Gardner and her husband John J. Gardner on June 4, 2009, for operating their residential rental properties (over 50 rental units in 4 buildings) as being substandard nuisance properties. During May, 2010, a stipulated judgement of the court required the Gardners to hire property managers, end the illegal threat of evictions at their properties, and to reimburse the City of Oakland for $10,000 in tenant relocation costs, and to pay an additional $10,000 to the City in penalties. The Gardners failed to comply with the court orders of May 2010.
Additionally, in 2007, the City of Oakland placed a Business Tax Lien on the property of John J. Gardner, Hong Gardner, and Cuong Nguyen, at 5142 Bancroft Avnue, Oakland, for not paying their business taxes.
Lynda Carson may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org