Page One

Here’s the story on Reddy

Marcia Poole
Saturday July 06, 2002

To the Editor: 

I read your story on Reddy Real Estate with great interest. I was able to locate some information from the Media Alliance web site regarding the Reddy holdings. The article, titled “The Worst Slumlords in the Bay Area”, was posted over a year and a half ago, before the Reddys bought many other Berkeley apartment houses which now suffer from these same issues. The article is as follows: 

“Lakireddy Bali Reddy’s name hit the front page of Bay Area newspapers late last year when he and his son were indicted for trafficking two teenagers from India for sex. But Reddy’s outrageous conduct is not limited to enslaving young women. His record as a landlord is equally atrocious. 

Reddy is the largest landlord in Berkeley, with real estate holdings valued at $60 million or more. He owns more than 50 residential and commercial buildings in Berkeley--more than twice as many rental units as any other landlord in Berkeley--and his family-run real estate firm, Reddy Realty, owns or controls more than 1,100 apartments throughout Alameda and Contra Costa counties. He also owns two Bay Area restaurants: Pasand Madras Indian Cuisine in Berkeley and Pasand Indian Cuisine in Santa Clara. 

Reddy’s history as a problem landlord in Berkeley has long attracted the attention of tenant attorneys, the Berkeley Rent Board, and others: Last February, the Berkeley City Council voted unanimously to further investigate alleged violations of housing and rent-control laws in buildings owned by Reddy; Reddy generates nearly four times as many complaints as any other landlord in Berkeley; over the past 15 years, the Reddy family has faced 50 lawsuits and small claims court actions, ranging from allegations of unfair rent charges and bogus owner move-ins to unsafe living conditions; Reddy tenants have complained to Berkeley rent board staff that Reddy does not return security deposits, especially to foreign students (many of his tenants are students at UC Berkeley), overcharges them, and provides poor or no building maintenance; and Reddy Realty makes more than five times as many errors on official forms than any other landlord in Berkeley. In Fall of 1999, the Rent Board sent mailings to all Reddy tenants informing them of their tenant rights.” 

There is another egregious problem regarding the City of Berkeley and Reddy Real Estate. One former Berkeley building inspector, Sam Derting, wrote a letter to the Judge who was presiding over Jayaprakash and Annapurna Lakireddy's criminal case and praised the Lakireddy family's closeness to God and personal hard work ethic & proudly extolled his friendship with Jayaprakash. When the Berkeley City Manager was advised about this and a request was made for a review of all past cases involving Mr. Derting's inspections of Reddy Real Estate holdings due to a conflict of interest, he refused. He stated that Mr. Derting no longer worked for the City and the City did not have the staff available to investigate possible overlooked violations. Mark one up for the Reddy Real Estate empire again. 


Marcia Poole