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Quality of Life

Problem San Diego Landlord Sells Off Apartment Buildings

A Barrio Logan apartment owned by Bankim Shah is pictured on Nov. 20, 2014.
Brian Myers, Media Arts Center San Diegoi
A Barrio Logan apartment owned by Bankim Shah is pictured on Nov. 20, 2014.

San Diego landlord Bankim Shah put 30 of his apartment buildings up for sale late last week.

Shah came under scrutiny following a KPBS and Voice of San Diego investigation showing a history of housing code violations at his properties and little city help for the tenants dealing with them.

All told, Shah is asking for more than $50 million for the buildings. The properties represent 70 percent of his residential properties.

Most are in the City Heights and Logan Heights areas, where tenants revealed mold, roach infestations, missing windows and no hot water.

Several Realtors confirmed the listings appeared all at once on listing services open only to realty professionals.

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A screenshot from a database for San Diego Realtors shows listings of Bankim Shah's apartment buildings, Feb. 20, 2014.
A screenshot from a database for San Diego Realtors shows listings of Bankim Shah's apartment buildings, Feb. 20, 2014.
Listings for Bankim Shah's properties are shown on a listings database for Realtors, Feb. 20, 2014.
San Diego MLS
Listings for Bankim Shah's properties are shown on a listings database for Realtors, Feb. 20, 2014.
Listings for Bankim Shah's properties are shown on a listings database.
San Diego MLS
Listings for Bankim Shah's properties are shown on a listings database.

Shah owns 16 commercial properties that are not listed.

San Diego Councilman David Alvarez has asked the city’s land use committee to explore the use of liens to force landlords to comply when code violations are brought to their attention. If the landlord fails to bring the building up to code, the strategy would ensure the repairs are made when the property changes hands.

Mayor Kevin Faulconer said Thursday to KPBS that he’ll spend more on city inspectors and review their department.

In reference to Shah, Faulconer said, “We clearly have a problem with this individual and so I think it calls for not just more code enforcement officers. How is the strategy to (look) into problem individuals and really target that?”

A representative for Shah could not be reached for comment.

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