Oh, CitiApartments! It’s been a while. With folks like the Examiner’s John Upton on The Case Of The Former Employee Class Action Suit, and the Guardian’s coverage of CitiApartments’ most recent legal woes, we almost feel bad piling on poor old CitiApartments.

Apparently recognizing what a terrible name and reputation they’re earning, CitiApartments seems to be doing a little whitewashing: First their rental agents stopped using the CitiApartments name on their listings, but as of last month they stripped the “CitiApartments” name from their site.

Deputy City Atty Yvonne Mere, who’s on the city’s case against Citi, was especially confounded by this move. “One of the things they have asserted is that they’re not a ‘property management company,’ but are instead a branding agency.” Nice work with that brand, y’all!

And the work gets even nicer: now, even their “San Francisco Apartments” site is dead. Oh, CitiApartments, what wacky trick will you pull next?

I’m expected to pay rent on time, they should give the deposit back in a timely mannerOh, wait, we know: they’ll fail to return an uncontested security deposit from a former tenant AGAIN!

Appeal reader E. says she moved out of a CitiApartments owned property on the 1300 block of Lombard 50 days ago, but is getting the runaround on her $2,300.00 deposit.

“I find this really disturbing that they are using my security deposit (which presumably should be in escrow gaining interest) to do whatever they are doing mismanaging their company. I’m expected to pay rent on time, they should give the deposit back in a timely manner” says E.

In an email conversation with E. on October 1, CitiApartments employee Kiet Luu (Luu would not return our call for comment) says:

Yes, a refund in the amount of $2335.50 is due to you. This refund process is taking longer than normal because this property is currently under lockbox with the bank. The bank has to review and approve every refund request we have before we can release them. Your refund is already requested and I do believe it will be released sometime next week. *

E. says that “today, through the California Courts Self-help website I used their “demand letter” to send out to the two people I know over there.”

Brian Devine, the lawyer behind the class action suit brought against CitiApartments for this alleged deposit-witholding, has pointed us to Civil Code 1950.5, “which provides that the tenant is entitled to her security deposit back, no question. The statute goes on to say that if the landlord is shown to have withheld it in bad faith, the tenant may recover statutory damages of up to two times the original deposit.”

Just something to think about.

Send us your tales of the Citi. We’d love to hear them.

*A guess: if you try this excuse with CitiApartments when you’re 50 days late with your rent, they will fuck you up!

the author

Eve Batey is the editor and publisher of the San Francisco Appeal. She used to be the San Francisco Chronicle's Deputy Managing Editor for Online, and started at the Chronicle as their blogging and interactive editor. Before that, she was a co-founding writer and the lead editor of SFist. She's been in the city since 1997, presently living in the Outer Sunset with her husband, cat, and dog. You can reach Eve at

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