Residence Type: 
2 units
Landlord Type: 
Private Landlord -- Rent Control

Some years ago my partner and I rented part of a rent-controlled house in Berkeley. We were good tenants - always paid on time and did improvements on the yard. Our landlord was friendly at first, but then threatened us with eviction when I became pregnant with our second child. He said that we had "agreed we wouldn't have children" when we moved in. He repeatedly harassed us for months and entered the house without notification or permission while I was on bedrest to avoid a miscarriage. Among other things, he threatened to evict us if I didn't smile at him when I saw him! We talked to the Rent Control Board and a lawyer, both of whom knew the landlord's reputation and were not surprised that this was happening. They thought we could fight him in court, but at the time we were not well off financially - I had just finished school and was not well enough to work full time due to the pregnancy. So we decided not to fight and in the end we just moved. It was a very sad and scary time for us as we loved our home and neighbors and had no wish to move away from our support network when we had a toddler and a new baby on the way.

We ended up being able to buy a house thanks to the generosity of our family who rallied around to help us and we are fine, but it was a horrible situation. I often think about how lucky we were to have family to help us and wonder what would have happened if not.

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