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Slumlord Richard Thomas To Pay $5.5 Million To Tenants

by Lynda Carson
East Bay Slumlord Nailed For $5.5 Million In Punitive Damages!

Slumlord Richard Thomas To Pay $5.5 Million To Tenants

By Lynda Carson November 8, 2008

Oakland -- On Tuesday November 4, slumlord Richard Thomas the notorious owner of Environmental and Land Management Company, who ripped off the security deposits of Oakland and Bay Area tenants, got nailed by a jury for $5.5 million in punitive damages.

During 1999 through 2007, Thomas scammed his tenants out of $183,000 or more from their security deposits, and made the list of the Bay Area's Worst Slumlords for his unlawful activities.

On April 24, 2000 Oakland tenant's and anti-eviction activists including members of Just Cause Oakland, held a protest in front of the Mediterraneun apartment building in Oakland at 610 E. 19th St., owned by Richard Thomas.

During the raucus protest against Thomas and his company Environmental and Land Management, numerous tenants and organizers spoke out against the way Thomas operated, and demanded Just Cause anti-eviction protections for Oakland's renters.

In bib overalls and a white tee shirt, Mediterraneun tenant Gene Ramos spoke out against his no-cause eviction by Thomas, and was joined by others demanding eviction protections, including Anne Omura of the Eviction Defense Center and James Vann co-founder of the Oakland Tenant's Union.

There was widespread media coverage of the April 24, protest and at that point Richard Thomas became notorious for stealing tenants' security deposits and unfair evictions, becoming the poster child of Oakland's bad landlords during 2000.

Tenants rights' groups were also collecting signatures for a Just Cause anti-eviction initiative during the protest against Thomas.

Since the April 24, protest against slumlord Thomas, there were numerous other protests in front of some of his other properties in Oakland, including a few protests in front of his residence in Hayward.

Through the years, tenants continued to bitterly complain that Thomas was stealing their security deposits, and on November 4, 2008 an Alameda County Superior Court jury finally caught up to Thomas to nail him for $5.5 million in punitive damages.

Lynda Carson may be reached at tenantsrule [at]

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Lynda Carson
Sun, Nov 9, 2008 8:04AM
Sun, Nov 9, 2008 6:16AM
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