Former DJ ’Bugged’ by Landlord
Former disc jockey and outspoken LGBT personality Jon Zuckman is facing an eviction hearing next week after a long simmering feud with his landlord centered on bed bugs in his apartment.
The property in question, 901 Stanyan Street, is a large yellow apartment building that sits across from the southeast corner of Golden Gate Park and contains about 20 units. Zuckman, better known in the community as Jon Sugar, has been living in apartment #14 since 1982, and took over the lease in 1987. Although he is the only party listed on the lease, Sugar lives with two roommates in his two-bedroom unit, where the rent is $1,217 per month.
Zuckman, 63, suffers from a triple disability of partial deafness, arthritis and post-traumatic stress disorder. He first complained about the bedbugs two years ago.
"In 2010 I suffered a bed bug infestation," Zuckman told the Bay Area Reporter. "My landlord strung me along for six weeks until I became strident and asked what he was going to do about the infestation. He responded, ’I ain’t spending no money on any bugs.’ I went back to my apartment and proceeded to call the Department of Public Health, my disability advocate, and my district supervisor, all of whom gave him a call."
Zuckman said his landlord, Al De Lorenzi, left a message on his voice mail yelling, "You got them all on me don’t you?"
Zuckman said that the city had to empty his entire apartment and put his possessions in freezer storage for 10 days.
"The landlord hired an unlicensed exterminator, and the bedbugs came back in six months," Zuckman said. "My landlord proceeded to tell my neighbors the most homophobic stories."
One of Zuckman’s roommates, Dave Smith, elaborated on this last point.
"The landlord told us that the bed bugs happened because Jon was bringing boys upstairs and said, ’I don’t know what he does to them,’" Smith said.
Although Zuckman has been in contact with nine social service and tenant agencies, he still hasn’t found a lawyer to represent him. On December 12, he received a Three Day Notice to Cure or Quit that accused him of several violations to his rental agreement including "allowing homeless people to come into the building and sleep in the hallway" and interfering "with the health and safety and quiet enjoyment of other tenants in the building."