Mountain View landlord tries to scare tenants away with staged home invasion

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A landlord and four others are behind bars after they took extreme measures to evict tenants in Mountain View, authorities say. 

Police say 50-year-old Reenu Saini, of Sunnyvale, was trying to evict a family of five who hadn't paid. 

"I guess for disputes relating to rent [she] wanted to evict the family," said Katie Nelson, public relations coordinator for the Mountain View Police Department. "So she called a friend who rounded up some additional individuals and brought them to the home that evening with the intent of physically removing this family from this home."

At around 8:15 p.m. Monday police say the landlord and four others came to the duplex on the 2100 block of Rock Street at Rengstorff Avenue and staged a home invasion. 

A neighbor who heard the commotion said it sounded like someone was trying to kick the door down. 

David Murphy said, "It was like, 'I'm going to get you.'"

The tenants, a married couple and their teenage children, told KTVU they recently moved to the area from the East Coast and were talking to children about their day at school when the power went out. 

They say that's when someone tried to kick in the door. 

Police said Saini shut off the power and then her associate used a knife to try to break in the front door. 

"There were all these methods that were being done essentially to force those individuals by out purely by fear, and then with the knife incident through physical force," Nelson said. 

The family was able to safely escape out the back door. Neighbors say the unit, like many others in the area, was often used as a short-term rental. The tenants said that they met this landlord on Airbnb, but decided mutually to make arrangements for the property in question on their own. In terms of paying the landlord, the tenants said  they reached a verbal agreement on one price, but then the landlord increased that fee. 

Saini along with her four associates face a range of charges including burglary, attempted robbery and conspiracy to commit a crime.