California Rental Market News
ANTIOCH, Calif. (AP) — Kim Carlson’s apartment has flooded with human feces multiple times, the plumbing never fixed in the low-income housing complex she calls home in the San Francisco rental market.
Her property manager is verbally abusive and calls her 9-year-old grandson, who has autism, a slur word, she said. Her heater was busted for a month this winter and the dishwasher has mold growing under it. But the final straw came in May: a $500 rent increase, bringing the rent on the two-bedroom to $1,854 a month.
Carlson and other tenants hit with similarly high increases converged on Antioch’s City Hall for marathon hearings, pleading for protection. In September, the City Council on a 3-2 vote approved a 3% cap on annual increases.
Carlson, who is disabled and under treatment for lymphoma cancer, starts to weep imagining what her life could be like.
“Just normality, just freedom, just being able to walk outside and breathe and not have to walk outside and wonder what is going to happen next,” said Carlson, 54, who lives with her daughter and two grandsons at the Delta Pines apartment complex. “You know, for the kids to feel safe. My babies don’t feel safe.”
Despite a landmark rental market protection law approved by California legislators in 2019, tenants across the country’s most populous state are taking to ballot boxes and city councils to demand even more safeguards. They want to crack down on tenant harassment, shoddy living conditions and unresponsive landlords that are usually faceless corporations.
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