Zillow.com’s list of preventive measures one can take against bad landlords fails to address the prospect of them sawing a hole through your apartment floor while you are in the room—twice—so it is questionable how much help the website would be if Kip and Nicole Macy owned your building.
The couple, dubbed the “Landlords from Hell” by prosecutors, pleaded guilty Tuesday to multiple felonies for terrorizing tenants in San Francisco between 2005 and 2007 and are expected to be sentenced in August to four years and four months in prison. Court documents detailed the lengths to which the Palo Alto husband and wife went to clear out a building where existing tenants presented an impediment to raising rents in an increasingly pricey neighborhood.
The couple reportedly:
Cut telephone lines.
Shut off electricity, gas and water while blocking access to the utility box.
Burglarized tenants apartments on at least three occasions.
Reported tenants as trespassers.
Soaked tenants’ beds, clothes and electronics with ammonia.
Threatened to have them deported.
Filed false police reports that ended with police holding tenants at gunpoint.
Cut sections out of joists beneath tenants’ floors.
Inquired of a building inspector how they could make the building too structurally unsound for tenants.
Told their building manager he would be shot if he showed up
And, of course, used a power saw to try cutting a hole in the floor, twice, while tenants were present.
At one point, Nicole Macy sent an email to the lawyer of one of the tenants while pretending to be that tenant, and fired the attorney. She also sent an email to her own lawyer pretending to be one of the tenants, and threatened to kidnap and dismember the attorney’s children.
The Macys were charged with felonies in April 2008 and were indicted by a grand jury in February 2009. They disappeared in June 2010 and surfaced in Italy, where they were taken into custody in May 2012. They were extradited to the United States a month ago.