Tenants Group Halts Rental Hike
By Mario A. Cortez
Demonstrations by a local tenant advocacy group have successfully stopped a 40 percent rent increase at a property in Linda Vista, which is home to low income families and individuals.
The increase was set to go into effect this August at the Morley 47 complex, managed by local realtors MC Properties, with renovation work being cited as the cause for the hike in prices.
When tenants received the required 60-day notice ahead of price jumps, many refused to pay the higher rates, pointing to major strain on their financial stability and a dire need of regular maintenance across the site. The complex was also hit by a car, leaving major damage on a ground level flat.
“There hasn’t been any regular maintenance like replacing carpets and the kitchens are falling apart. There are also mold issues throughout the complex,” said Rafael Bautista of San Diego Tenants United (SDTU), the advocacy group organizing the efforts against the increase.
SDTU has been working with residents in several communities threatened by increasing rent prices and landlord abuse. Members at Morley 47 and other Linda Vista properties managed by MC Properties have become active in this group, attending member assemblies and requesting meetings with management to discuss repairs and rent increases, which had been rejected by management.
Demonstrations have been staged over the last months in support of tenants at properties across San Diego. The most recent ones taking place at MC Properties’ Linda Vista offices, on June 28, and on July 1 in downtown, from West Laurel street to First Avenue.
The organized effort has resulted fruitful for tenants, as they have received word that the $400 increase is no longer going into effect until all repairs are complete and that there would be no evictions. A nominal increase will be implemented once repairs are completed in full.
In a similar turn of events, residents at properties managed by Constellation Management in City Heights, who were facing increases of up to 75 percent, had their partial rent strike payments accepted by management and have entered negotiations. Renovations have been cited as the reason for the hike in prices at Constellation properties.