Derick Ion Almena's Oakland art commune had a ton of problems before the tragic fire ... including brawls and death threats, according to docs -- hardly the rosy picture Almena's tried to paint.
In docs, obtained by TMZ, 2 men tried to get restraining orders against Almena in 2015. They accused him of ordering commune staffers to beat the crap out of them for allegedly trashing the place after a gig there. They say Almena was pissed because his son found a condom in the building.
Right after the alleged run-in the men gave a blow-by-blow on camera. The video was submitted in the case.
A couple weeks later, Derick was busted for having a stolen Airstream trailer on the Oakland property. He was arrested for felony possession of stolen property and pled no contest in January 2016. As we reported ... he's currently on probation for about 2 more years.
Derick tried to get a restraining order against a 55-year-old woman in February 2015 ... claiming she threatened to have her sons come over and "blow my f****** head off." According to docs, the woman was living at the commune without paying rent. Almena accused her of squatting, stealing his property and threatening his entire family.
All the restraining orders were denied when the parties failed to show up in court.
Almena told Matt Lauer the space was his dream home, which hosted up-and-coming artists. He obviously left out a ton of other details.