Uber SVP Emil Michael made headlines last month when during a private dinner he reportedly proposeda million-dollar campaign to dig up personal details of journalists who were critical of his employer.
It turns out that he takes an aggressive approach in interactions with his landlord as well.
According to court records, Michael filed a petition for a restraining order against his landlord, John Danforth, in September 2013.
“He is my landlord who I believe suffers from an obsession with entering my dwelling and harasses me to get me to move out,” Michael wrote in the petition. “I am under constant emotional duress that a stranger can enter my apartment without notice requiring me to defend myself.”
Michael signed a lease for a 1,986-square-foot condo in Danforth’s Pacific Heights building in June 2012. In the lease, Michael agreed to pay $US9,500 a month for the three-bedroom apartment, which has a private garden, views of Alta Plaza Park, and a remote-control hot tub. According to BuzzFeed, his rent has since increased to $US13,335 a month.
Michael and Danforth have not gotten along in the two years Michael has lived there. Court documents show that when in June 2013 Danforth entered the apartment to make a routine repair, which Michael had requested, he discovered that Michael had painted the interior walls despite being denied permission to do so.
Danforth also walked out to the balcony to examine a previous repair to the hot tub. In the petition, Michael complained that Danforth had entered areas of the apartment that didn’t need work, which made him uncomfortable.
“He refused to keep himself to the part of my dwelling that needs repairs,” Michael wrote in the petition. “He is doing this to harass me.”
Michael alleged that Danforth harassed him by giving out his key to several of his workers, including a gardener who took Michael by surprise one day last summer. He even armed himself with a baseball bat when he heard the stranger making noise in his backyard.
“The landlord has refused to give me notice when he seeks to enter my backyard which looks right into my bedroom but is my sole and exclusive private area,” he wrote.
A judge dismissed the case, saying that Michael’s claims were “borderline frivolous.”
“This appears to be part of Mr. Michael’s efforts to escalate (and/or short-cut) a landlord-tenant dispute, something we have already tried to resolve through multiple contractor visits, two mediation sessions and protracted follow-up emails,” Danforth wrote in court filings.
Michael hasn’t moved since the September 2013 decision by the court, but he and Danforth have continued to exchange heated emails. In messages obtained by BuzzFeed, Michael calls Danforth “snarky and jealous” as well as a “patent troll and slumlord.”
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