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Renters vs. Veritas

Veritas Investments Inc. claims to be San Francisco’s largest landlord. It says it owns more than 230 rent-controlled buildings, many that were purchased from the infamous Lembi Group, the city’s previous king of landlords that wound up bankrupt after the 2008 housing bust.

Veritas tenants have sued the $3 billion corporation, accusing it of trying to boost profits by renovating vacated units for newcomers — overwhelmingly “young techies” from out of state, the CEO has said — while neglecting longtime renters’ living conditions. Veritas denies the allegations, saying that it responds to tenant complaints quickly and that the work is needed to preserve and enhance these aging structures.

It is difficult to vet many of these claims. But by layering various types of public records and analyzing the results we were able to discover a rise in tenant complaints, as well as building-code violations, after Veritas bought the properties connected to the lawsuit.

Our reporting is ongoing. For the latest, see our forthcoming spring 2019 print edition, which will be available at select retail outlets. Online posting will follow.



Key Stories



S.F.’s Largest Landlord Sued Over Alleged Efforts to Push Out Tenants

Activists stage a protest against Veritas. Tenants accuse the company of building a business model that relies on pushing tenants out of rent-controlled units so they can be re-rented for much more.

Published Oct 4 2018



Searching for Truth in Tenants’ Lawsuit Against S.F. Corporate Landlord

A major lawsuit against Veritas expands to include more than 100 tenants in 39 buildings. For the first time, the company responds directly to the charges on the record.

Published Mar 12 2019



Sued by Tenants, Veritas Says it Maintains ‘High Standards’

Excerpts from a Q/A with Veritas company spokesman Ron Heckmann.

Published Mar 18 2019



Noah Arroyo Discusses Veritas Lawsuit on ‘Your Call’

Our assistant editor goes on the air to talk about his reporting.

Published April 5 2019



COMPLAINTS AND CITATIONS RISE SHARPLY AT VERITAS APARTMENTS CITED IN LAWSUIT

Our analysis reveals that this uptick occurred after Veritas acquired the buildings. Many complaints were related to on-site construction.

Published June 10 2019



HOW WE TRACKED DOWN INFORMATION TO ANSWER QUESTIONS ABOUT TENANT COMPLAINTS

We explain our methdology for examining public records, in order to discover the rise in complaints and building-code violations in Veritas’ buildings.

Published June 20 2019


Want to know more?

This story is ongoing. We intend to continue reporting on it, so make sure to check back soon. Or you can sign up for our newsletter to stay in the know.

In the meantime, here are other stories on the topic that have caught our eye.