The video shows the case of a 98-year-old-woman in San Francisco who is being evicted from her apartment having lived there for over 50 years. Mary Philips reports that she is happy living there and in all period as a tenant she has always paid her rent and has never been late. Mary Phillips is among the numerous low-income families and seniors facing eviction by the real estate company known as Urban Green Investments. She however claims that her old age will not deter her from fighting the eviction (Kron 4, 2014).
Urban Green served Mary Phillips with an eviction letter and notices as required by law. The eviction was scheduled to take place in April 2014. In the same building, Sarah, a high school teacher in Unified School District, and who acts as a caregiver to Mary has also resisted her eviction from the building (Kron 4, 2014).
As a judge, settling this case puts a dilemma between legality and morality. Urban Green Investment action of evicting the tenants including 98-year old Mary is granted under the 1986 Ellis Act that allows landlords to evict tenants if they are moving out of the rental industry (Edwards, 2014). The manner in which the eviction was done was according to law where a notice of eviction was served.
Mary who is the tenant consider the eviction as a discriminatory practice because of her old age. This as she says would disorient her life and she has nowhere else to go. The Urban Green Investments extended an olive branch by stating that they could allow Mary to live in the apartment but not her caregiver Sarah. This act is not being granted with good faith as at such an old age, Mary needs a caregiver around and by evicting her caregiver is as good as evicting her.
In deciding this case, I would consider the Lord Atkins’s famous neighbor principle that declares the need of taking reasonable care to avoid harm to those we can foresee can be affected. In this case, Urban Green had allowed Mary to live within the premises. This would imply letting her keep her belongings and all resources that she uses in her daily life. In this case including the caregiver.
Edwards, D. (2014). San Francisco Landlord uses Loophole to Evict 98-year-old Who Paid Rent on Time for 50 Years. Retrieved from https://www.rawstory.com/2014/07/san-francisco-landlord-uses-loophole-to-evict-98-year-old-who-paid-rent-on-time-for-50-years/
Kron 4. (2014). Woman, 98, Evicted from San Francisco Apartment after 50 year. Retrieved from: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fg1kdC7eZZA
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