Reader J tells us that last year, he his girlfriend rented “a beautiful studio” at 775 Geary at Leavenworth from CitiApartments (or, as they’re now known, First Apartments or FirstApartments or Think you already know where this story is going? It’s even worse than you think. Read on!

After about 2 weeks we started seeing bed bugs on the walls and my girlfriend, unlike me, was getting bit. After a few calls with no response from Citi we she decided to just break the least and move out since it had been less than one month.

By chance, we ran into our her neighbor and asked him about the bed bugs, and he told us that that our her particular unit has had several turnovers due to the bugs and is currently in a lawsuit over it. CitiApartments didn’t inform us her of any of it prior to taking our her first, last and deposit.

Once we she told them we were she was moving out and that we were aware of the lawsuit and the high turnover for the unit, they were EXTREMELY nice. Our Her appointed Citi associate was excessively apologetic and assured us her that we she would not have to pay a dime, that they would refund the entire $2600.00 we she paid to get in the unit ($1270, the $2600 deposit less the month and 3 days they she occupied the apartment).

It has been almost 6 months and all we can get is a voicemail box that is usually full. At one point Joe Vargo called us emailed her and asked if our her deposit was ever paid back, we she said no, and he said he would get it straightened out. We haven’t heard of him since. That was in September of 2009.

Hey! Good old Joe Vargo! From previous reports, we know Joe’s email ( and phone (415.252.3625). Of course, we gave Joe a call and left him a message, but haven’t gotten a response. If we do, of course we will update!

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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