Landlord–tenant law is a part of the common law that details the rights and duties of landlords and tenants. It includes elements of both real property law (specifically conveyances) and contract law.
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Posted: Nov. 13, 2013 06:05:53 AM PST
San Francisco, CA -- Kip Macy, 39, and his wife, Nicole Macy, also 39, were deemed "landlords of hell" by authorities for menacing the tenants of their San Francisco apartment building. In what authorities called a 17-month lawless rampage, the couple burglarized apartments, sabotaged the building's structure, and even sawed up through a horrified tenant's apartment floor, according to district attorney George Gascon. "Well, they were trying to terrorize the tenants so they would leave," Gascon told media sources. "There was absolutely no other way to explain what they were doing." The two cut phone lines, shut off power, and boarded up the windows of occupied apartments. "They used a power saw and tried to compromise the structure of the building so the floor would actually collapse," DA Gascon said. Kip and Nicole Macy even removed tenants' belongings from their apartments.
Kip Macy is serving a four-year sentence at the San Quentin State Prison in California. His sentence is for two felony counts of residential burglary: one felony count of stalking; and one felony count of attempted grand theft. Macy was summoned from a jail cell where he was awaiting transfer to San Quentin. Macy sat down for an exclusive interview with media sources. He said it all began with an idea of his wife, Nicole Macy. They were going to buy a four unit apartment building in an up-and-coming neighborhood of San Francisco. The idea was to get the tenants to move out and sell the individual apartments for a profit. Kip Macy said: "I was hesitant." Kip worked as a software consultant before buying the building. "But I mean, she assured me it wouldn't be that risky." Kip continued saying: "I regret, you know, having moved the Mexicans' stuff into the hallway. I don't see how that was burglary, or theft, since I neither stole their stuff." Kip said he moved his building manager, Ricardo Cartagena's things because it was "garbage." He asked: "I mean, basically, if some homeless person leaves stuff in your garage and you [throw] it away, are you guilty of grand theft?"
One tenant, Scott Morrow, stubbornly would not move out. This frustrated Kip and Nicole Macy. Kip Macy said: "Basically, Scott was sort of the ... one breaking point." Kip claimed that Morrow made money off all the previous owners. "There wasn't actually any legal way of doing it right, since we had done everything right legally, and it hadn't worked." Kip said: "That's when we started making bad decisions." The "bad decisions" included cutting through the floorboards of Morrow's floor with a saw. Kip Macy explained: "We harassed him a bit because [we] no longer had anything to lose." Hip said he and Nicole Macy felt abandoned by the law. "He had parts of his floor cut out from underneath, also illegal, but whatever."
Eventually Kip and Nicole Macy were arrested at Kip Macy's parents' house in 2008. They were released on $500,000 bond. Kip Macy's parents drained much of their retirement savings to pay the bond. His mother Marie even sold her jewelry to help finance their release. Once free, Kip and Nicole Macy jumped bail. They fled to Italy. They left Kip Macy's father and mother, potentially at a loss of half a million dollars. With the clock ticking before the bail forfeiture deadline, Marie reached out to bailbondsmen, Geri Ito-Campana and Ron Lee to find Kip and Nicole, and get her money back. Gumshoe work by Geri, with Marie as her wing woman, led them to Kip's bank. Someone at the bank had information about where Kip was getting paychecks. This led the sleuths to an address in Florence, Italy. After several days with no luck, Ron Lee was ready to give up. An unusual sight in a Chinese restaurant in the Italian city encouraged him to pull out his camera and take a picture. At that moment, in his lens view was Kip and Nicole walking down the street. Days later, after a meticulous plan devised by Geri and Ron, Marie stood in an apartment building lobby, face-to-face at last with her fugitive son.
Kip and Nicole's Italian idyll was over. The district attorney had not sought extradition. Geri took the pair to the U.S. Embassy. Ron shot photos of Kip and Nicole, with that day's newspapers, and an Italian cop ID'd them on an affidavit, all to ensure Marie could get her $500,000 back, as provided by law. "But then when it came ... to ask to have the bond exonerated, the district attorney agent said, 'well, we've changed our mind ... we've now decided to extradite.'" The stunning switch required a different protocol for Geri to follow and the clock ran out. All appeals were denied. Marie says she followed the letter of the law to regain her bail money and for her troubles she was out half a million dollars.
San Francisco district attorney George Gascon disagrees. "They fled the jurisdiction. They fled the nation and that's really what the bottom line is," he said. In June, Kip Macy and Nicole Macy plead guilty to four felony counts, each receiving sentences of four years and four months in prison.
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