Remember the story we reported in May about the Point Richmond landlord who was trying to bust a vandal who had been spraying “slumlord” on his building?
At the time, Connelly claimed the serial vandal of his three-story, Single Room Occupancy building at 3 West Ave. was one of his former tenants, Roger Porter. Connelly even showed the Richmond Standard surveillance video footage of a man appearing to be Porter committing the crime.
We decided not to post the video or name any suspects in our May report, as Connelly had only just reported the crimes to police and the landlord said he feared for his safety.
Well, today the plot thickened when the West County Times reported that a group of Connelly’s tenants, including Porter, are suing the landlord on allegations of extremely poor living conditions. The lawsuit was apparently filed back in April.
According to the Times, “…a group of tenants alleges that inside is a veritable house of horrors ruled by an imperious, penny-pinching landlord who drives over in his Mercedes to demand rents while ignoring their pleas for decent living conditions.”
Tenants of the Point Richmond live in “tiny rooms” as small as 100-square feet, and rents range from $600 to $800 a month, the Times said. But what bothers the tenants most are allegations of “bedbugs and other pests, along with a lack of central heating and plumbing that frequently backs up,” the newspaper added.
Connelly, the owner of three Point Richmond buildings, told us and the Times that he is being unfairly targeted. He says all rooms are debugged before a tenant moves in and that he has paid for a number of significant upgrades. He also said he offers low-income disabled people and ex-cons cheap rent in a pricey neighborhood. He told the Times the lawsuit is a “money grab” and “shakedown.”