We’ve all heard of rent increases. In fact, for our clients that are buying investment properties, it’s part of the plan, but when a landlord jacks rent up 444%, our attention is captured. In San Francisco, a renter says his landlord has increased his rent from $1,800 to $8,000 a month. There’s no better way to say “get the hell out” than an irrationally unfair rent increase.
Neil Hutchinson tells ABC that he’s lived there for “a long time,” asserting that he pays his rent on time, and is confused by one of the city’s highest rent increases in history that was sent to him without explanation.
Hutchinson has filed an appeal with the San Francisco Rent Board, but with a decision being made in August, help won’t likely come in time. Since ABC began covering this story, the landlord has served an eviction notice giving the tenant until July 21 to leave. His lawyer says they’ll be filing a response to the eviction.
So this is where you come in, readers
The first and most pressing way our industry can collectively contend that we care about tenants (often the middle class, which is being squeezed) and not just landlords is to speak up.
Reach out to the San Francisco Rent Board and urge them to make a decision in this case quickly, preferably by July 8th. This will show the world that real estate professionals care about all consumers, not just people that currently want to transact with you.
Secondly, you can (and should) blog about this case and why you stand with Hutchinson. Or why you don’t. Either way, you have a megaphone – use it to impress upon consumers in your area that you care.
Lastly, when working with investors, tell them that you care about your local renters, that you’re part of a bigger picture, not just the financial benefits of transactions. Make sure your clients are doing the right thing by locals, and that you will never stand by anyone who is willing to jack up rent as dramatically as Hutchinson’s landlord has.