Monday, December 19, 2011

Inspiring Protest at Budget Inn for Tenants' Rights!
Tenants at the Budget Inn are treated like shit.  I have been talking, for years now, with low income people who have stayed at the Budget Inn and it is BAD.  I am so excited that the people who live there are standing up to the horrendous, inhumane conditions and treatment!

Dec. 20th, 12:00pm - 5:00pm
ALL OUT to support the abused tenants at the Budget In at 933 4th Street in Eureka!  Invite everyone!PLEASE support this courageous move on the part of slumlord victims.  What could be more encouraging than a collaborative effort to stand up and say "No More!" by people in a bad situation!?!  Apparently, the Occupy movement has been inspiring the folks there.

The owner of the Budget Inn is Ravindra Kushwaha.  His address is 831 Rosebud Dr. Oxnard,Ca
Below is some information.  The first is from a former employee.  Below that is a complaint to the Better Business Bureau, filed by a tenant of the Budget Inn about a year ago.
"The Owner of the Budget, Ravindra Kushwaha, has a business model which he uses for all of his motels.(Green Valley, Orick Ca/ Rosegarden Inn, Ridgecrest Ca/ Crown Motel, Pinebluff, Ar/ Villatown, Lubbock,Tx) His model: “Rent to people on social security because they #1 have monthly check,#2 little access to legal services,#3 once they’ve paid, they cannot afford to move."

Better Business Bureau complaint -
The Budget Inn is situated on the main highway (Hwy 101) in Eureka California, and advertises on a large sign/billboard in front of the business. The Budget Inn also advertises in the only daily newspaper in Eureka (and Humboldt County), the Eureka Times-Standard. On both the sign and in the paper, the Budget Inn advertises "Clean and Quiet Rooms."
I have been a tenant of the Budget Inn for about a year and a half (suffering myriad ongoing violations of my rights), and am familiar with the conditions of and in the rooms. I am a clean and tidy person. However, the Budget Inn rooms are neither clean nor quiet. Indeed they are filthy and disturbingly loud.
The laundry service is random, so we are left with dirty sheets and towels. Slugs crawl in the bathroom. Rats have come into my room. The walls have the appearance of years and years of cigarette smoke- the yellow/brown color stuck to the walls. There are drip stains on the walls from the leaks that occur whenever it rains. Some residents must put buckets in their rooms to catch the water. In one bathroom, every time the residents take showers, the steam causes years of nicotine to drip down the walls, onto the rugs, and even onto the residents' bodies. My small bathroom has been unfinished throughout my entire tenancy and has been cluttered with the Budget Inn's maintenance tools, a big bag of plaster, and parts of the 'new' bathroom- all being stored, ostensibly, for the Budget Inn to one day finish the bathroom. The ceiling shows years and years of dirt and nicotine. Mold is in my closet and black mold in the corners of the doors. In the entrance to my bathroom, the rug has consistently been wet all fall and winter months due to leaks from the rain. Since the earthquake over six months ago, the wall next to my bed has continued to crack. When the room flooded due to a blown pipe underneath the road, my entire room and bathroom floor was covered in 2-3 inches of water. Underneath the bed and in the closet exists resulting mold. The wooden baseboards in the bathroom are slowly rotting, so I must sweep up parts of them daily.
As far as the Budget Inn's claims of "quiet" rooms, nothing could be further from the truth. My room's door is very thin, because the Budget Inn made two rooms out of one without changing anything to prevent sound from entering from one room to the other. The Budget Inn allows my neighbor to blast two boom boxes which are mounted on the walls that separate our rooms, and two large boom boxes in the windows. This neighbor has been blasting music for about 5 hours a day, causing my walls to vibrate and suffering my heart to pound and my and body to shake. The music is so loud, that if I lay down on my bed, the bed shakes and my heart cannot endure the booming. Even after many requests from myself and other tenants, the Budget Inn allows this excessive noise, which can be heard from the street, to continue.

Desired Resolution:
 I believe that the Budget Inn makes grossly fraudulent claims in its advertising. In addition to actions I plan to take regarding my rights as a tenant, I request that the Better Business Bureau take action to stop the Budget Inn from continuing to advertise "clean and quiet rooms", while they instead charge for filthy, noisy, and uninhabitable rooms.
Budget Inn did not respond to the complaint.
The Budget Inn has not said or sent anything to me in response to the complaint. I am still a rent-paying resident of the Budget Inn and all conditions that I described in my complaint remain the same to date. Nothing has improved. I have noticed that the billboard sign on the main highway in front of the Budget Inn is not currently advertising "clean and quiet rooms."
If the Budget Inn BI rented my room & others at 1140 4th Street, Eureka CA to ''motel guests,'' as the law defines that term, & if BI met the minimum legal requisites establishing BI as a motel in a motel/guest relationship, then it would be a sub-standard motel, failing legal obligations to its ''guests.'' However, BI rents to me my primary residence for over 1 yr (this time) & rents almost all other rooms similarly, on a month-to-month basis to permanent residents. Due to this & several other facts, BI is a residential motel, as defined by law, & those of us living at BI are tenants, entitled to all legal rights afforded tenants by CA law. As tenants we're entitled to protections, including but not limited to the right to live under habitable conditions--free of health & safety hazards; right to quiet enjoyment; right to proper notice for landlord access; right to be free from discrimination & harassment; & right to reasonable accommodations related to medical conditions & disabilities. BI deceives & avoids accountability to us as tenants & to the general public, by calling us ''motel guests,'' ignoring law & denying our rights as tenants.
 I can provide room photos; also paperwork wherein BI officially regards us as ''guests.'' BI imposes unlawful tenant restrictions such as ''No 'unregistered guests''' in our rooms. BI says family members may enter only if 1st approved by mgmt. Many BI policies violate CA law. Although CA has a process required of a landlord in order to evict a tenant if, for instance, s/he has not paid rent, BI created its own policy, & kicks tenants out with physical threats, ignoring responsibility to legal process.
 BI's Response to my BBB complaint is wholly disingenuous. My herein Reply incorporates and continues to affirm all facts from my original complaint.
 I 've never denied reasonable access for BI agents to my room, even after improper notice. BI has acknowledged the seriousness of my documented medical condition & disability. A doctor's note & explanatory document were posted on my door until BI agents tore them down. BI refuses to make reasonable accommodations, required by law, for my medical condition & disability, regarding BI pesticide use in my rental. At times, BI made such accommodations for another tenant with a similar condition. Acts & omissions by BI, some of which are outlined here, pertain to me & others living at BI & constitute long-term, repeated, & blatant violations of basic legal rights & severely endanger our health & safety.
 In 2010, BI pipes backed up. Sewage came into showers & rooms. I told the manager that feces & other sewage was coming in my room & was told, ''I don't want to hear about that feces, etc..'' My whole floor was flooding for 3 days. Liquid was about 3'' deep, no dry spots. After the flood, BI's Paul Hewitt Jr worked on my floor for 10-15 minutes, told me he would return to ''finish'' & never did. He left the extractor in my room, so I used it. BI was reported to the Health Dept. & another agency. Then the sewage pipes were worked on. BI tenants have had sewage come into their showers, bathroom floors, & carpets for years. Currently, our plumbing is backed up again.
 Later in 2010, the water heater behind my bathroom broke. Water poured into my room- about 3'' deep. BI used an extractor on my neighbor's room & said they would do nothing for me. The flood ruined many of my personal items, including everything in my closet. I made a makeshift counter & a path to the bathroom. After 4 days, a young tenant of BI came & extracted. BI did not replace the water heater for a few more days. BI mgmt said they'd move my bed out & extract, but never did. I tried to dry my room with heaters. It molded. The closet still has strong mold. I must sleep at the end of my bed where less water collected underneath. Damp conditions adverselyaffect my breathing. BI refused my requests for another room.
 My bathroom is bare sheet rock. I have no handle for the toilet & no lid. Black mold covers caulking around the shower; floor in front of the shower is deteriorating, almost through to the ground. A large crack spans the width of the bathroom door threshold. The front of my bathroom, a 4' X 3' area, gets soaked from rain leaks. I put plastic down to walk across.
 Mgmt. saw the 3 ft. long crack in my wall after an earthquake; now it is from ceiling to floor & getting wider. An entire wing of BI is not on stable foundation.
 There is only 1 stove, 2 coin-op washers, & 1 dryer for over 30 tenants. We must leave our ID with the office to access them. My microwave & refrigerator came from a pile that BI threw out- BI offers such appliances by ''allowing'' us to scrounge through a dump pile.
 Room inspections are not noticed in writing or 24 hrs in advance. This violates CA law.
 In the past, BI entered my room in the a.m. to pesticide spray around our beds WHILE both my 10 yr old son & I were asleep! Paul Hewitt Jr. was told by his boss,Paul Sr, that I had a serious illness -to leave me & my room alone. Other tenants were sprayed that a.m. Those who protested were ''troublemakers.'' Eight BI tenants died in 1 yr from lung problems, we believe from pesticide spray & black mold. Some of them had complained & BI did nothing. My neighbor died, & her doctor told us it was due to living with sewage- coming into her room from corroded pipes. Last year, a bed-ridden man reported to BI sewage soaked into his rug. Mgmt argued & refused to do anything. Family moved him out. I keep 2 ionizers in my room for the unhealthy air & smell.
 Police came to BI 3 times regarding loud noise from my neighbor. Eureka officer Winkle went to my neighbor's window & said ''I can hear your music a block away, you gotta turn it way down.'' He told him to turn the boom boxes toward himself & not the street. Mgmt was present, consoling my neighbor: ''We'll straighten this all out, you'll be able to play your music.'' I told mgmt that this neighbor had molested me & was angry because I refused his sexual advances. Mgmt outright dismissed what I said & told me to move out. BI allowed my neighbor to blast music. Mgmt harassed me further, saying they would tear out the wall between me & my neighbor, & I 'd need to find another place.
 In Dec 2010, two officers (one was Off. Siipola-Edwards) responded to my call about pounding music. They said, ''We can hear this a block away,'' & made my neighbor turn it down. I reported that the pounding was causing me heart trouble, as I had informed BI on several occasions.
 Before I signed rental papers, mgmt said it would provide (as the law requires) alternatives to pesticides, but never has. Mgmt. threatens to spray my room with chemicals, & I believe sprayed when I was out- causing me 2 hospital trips. The doctor said I was poisoned.
 BI inspected my room 3 times in 1 yr, & ne'er a cockroach. Recently, BI began spraying in my loud neighbor's room, & cockroaches swarm to my bathroom & crawlspace. They ruined my electrical items. I now buy alternatives to chemical pesticides, which work, but then cockroaches come again from the crawlspace. Unlawfully, BI refuses to provide alternatives for me.
 BI has never serviced my bathroom. Maid service is set for Mondays & Tuesdays. Most of us get no service. Some complain to mgmt: ''Why make a calendar & make us stay here all day, & then not show?'' Mgmt yells at tenants, even youth, if they make a request or comment. I, like others, have waited all day because mgmt says we must be there for maid service- which never comes.
 BI uses my health issues to harass & retaliate against me. Paul Hewitt Jr. filled a bucket with bleach & pine sol & poured it near only my room & in front of my open window. My window is open at night for fresh air. Since that incident, I rise early to shut it, in case Paul Jr. returns with toxins. Paul Jr. has lived at BI for 5-6 years & knows what things will make me sick, poison me, or even kill me.
 In 2010, mgmt called us about bug-bombing our rooms. I consented to it because BI said I would not have to be there & they would open windows. We received no notice of the bombing date, so we waited, wondering when we'd need to leave. When I learned BI's plan to also spray our mattresses for bugs (which I don't have) & repeat the bomb-spray process 2 days later, I told mgmt I did not consent. I can't sleep on a sprayed mattress nor handle 2 bug bombs. BI did nothing to the rooms. Then BI told us that a ''pro bug sprayer'' was coming. The sprayer & mgr came & I told them I cannot be sprayed. The manager yelled at me. Two other chemically sensitive residents are harassed too.
 ''I'm the manager & I do what I want when I want & people do what I say.'' says current BI Manager, Gwen. BI managers, including Gwen, have been abusive toward tenants.

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