East San Jose Apartment Fire Exposes Continued Negligence

A June 25th fire caused by electrical malfunctioning at the Sunny Apartment complex in East San Jose, that left two children burned and to jump from their second story window, has exposed a myriad of long standing unsafe conditions. Tenants are coming together to improve their living conditions at the complex.

Tenants of Sunny Apartments hold an initial meeting Monday evening. 

A June 25th fire caused by electrical malfunctioning at the Sunny Apartment complex in East San Jose, that left two children burned and to jump from their second story window, has exposed a myriad of long standing unsafe conditions.

Tenants are coming together with the aim to improve their living conditions at the complex, run by a management many say is more concerned with their own profits than their tenant’s wellbeing. 

Tenant after tenant who have lived in the complex anywhere from four months to ten years or more repeated similar grievances about the Sunny Apartments - there’s roaches, bed bugs, and even rats. There are water leaks from second floor apartments into first floor ceilings and walls, staircases leading to the second floor are unsafe, the drainage system constantly clogs up and emits a foul smell, heaters are ancient and do not work, the tubs are rusted, leaky sinks, leaky tubs, rotten wood, clogged sinks, not a single door to any closet in the complex, cabinet doors falling off the hinges or completely off, since new windows were recently installed they are not allowed to put in air conditioners or be charged $700 if even the screen to a new window is torn. 

Many have resorted to not complaining anymore because the management is so unresponsive, saying they have to take care of things themselves from clogged toilets and sinks, replacing door knobs, retiling showers, replacing cabinets, to replacing light fixtures filled with water! When a repair is made, the work is shoddy and the problem will soon continue and the evidence of the ‘repair’ is left as is for months and years.

Many tenants still fear being evicted for openly complaining about the conditions they live in, saying there is no other place to go if not they would have already left. 
 


rusted tubA mother has to bathe her 5 and 7 year olds in this tub. The five year old has muscular dystropy, a disease with a progressive weakening of the muscles.

Ceiling Mold
This is the ceiling to their bathroom, the managment has covered it with a liquid, but the mold returns days after.

New stove
The stove in the family's unit was replaced, but because workers are in such a hurry, they said they will return to make adjustments; the new stove wobbles. Twenty-two stoves in the complex were replaced, tenants had complained about stoves sparking and giving electrical shocks - it is also likely the cause of the fire on June 25th. 

Hole in Bathroom Ceiling
This hole is in the bathroom of a first floor apartment, months before the water was again shut off without warning. When the water was restored the unit above flooded and leaked into this bottom unit, including into light fixtures that were ultimately replaced by the occupying tenants not the management who shifted responsability of replacement to the upstairs tenant.

Outlet
Six years this outlet has been without a proper cover, this powers the unit's refrigerator and is usually partly coverd with a chair for some feeling of safety. To prevent roaches from continuing to come out of the outlet, tenants placed a brown paste around the outlet.
 Ant Killer
Neighbors have bought this ant killer to help curb the roach infestation on their own, the management repeatedly blames tenants for the roaches without adequately working to eradicate the problem.


 

Related Media:

Tenants Want San Jose to Strengthen Renter Protections

San José Renters Begin Movement to Change Laws around Renters Rights in San José

About Liz Gonzalez

Liz Gonzalez is a San Jose based writer and holistic healing practitioner, she leads a weekly meditation circle at De-Bug on Tuesday nights at 7:30 pm.

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Comments

This place is right next to the new Poco Way Apartments which were torn down and rebuilt from the ground up. Same thing needs to happen to this nasty 30+ never-renovated complex. It is in eye sore for many. Problem is when that happens rent will double in order for the owner to recover his cost. Sad but this is the price many middle to poor families have to face. I cant even find an apartment i can afford in this valley i have to rent rooms from my mother and she even charges me the ridiculous prices out there.

That is beyond wrong Thank you de bug for shedding light to this serious problem

This is an outrage. I see somebody's managing the property alright..

Wow, that's messed up.

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