The Rent Stabilization Board will hear the appeal tonight of a Berkeley landlord accused of overcharging residents and ignoring sanitary regulations at a boarding house for UC Berkeley students.
The landlord, Reza Valiyee, is responsible for day-to-day upkeep of a 49-unit house on 2412 Piedmont Ave., but according to a petition filed by 13 residents in May 2001, Valiyee has failed to fulfill his duties.
The residents complained that toilets and sinks were left clogged, showers were not cleaned, the refrigerator did not work and rodents plagued the house.
Residents also maintained that Valiyee overcharged them for rent and failed to return interest on security deposits. Rooms in the boarding house were rented for between $550 and $700, but most are covered by rent ceilings that limit what he can charge to $500.
At an administrative hearing last November, the hearing examiner sided with the residents and ordered Valiyee to make rent reparations, ranging from $894 to $3,284, to the 13 residents who filed the petition.
Valiyee maintains that the hearing examiner ruled incorrectly and was biased against him.
Valiyee had previously butted heads with city officials over the boarding house. In November of 2000, the Zoning Adjustment Board declared the property a public nuisance, citing that Valiyee built five additional units without a permit.
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