SAN FRANCISCO (KPIX 5) — In another sign of San Francisco’s red hot rental market, people living in a dilapidated apartment in the Lower Haight neighborhood are challenging their landlord’s plan to raise their rent to more than $6,000 a month.

KPIX 5 took a quick tour of the apartment this week. There was mold on the ceiling, holes in the floor, and cracks in the walls. The unit appeared like it wasn’t updated in decades.

Mario, a renter who did not want to give his last name, said, “There is no way this unit is worth $6,200 a month.”

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The $6,200 a month rent is more than double the $2,900 rent being paid now. The three guys who have lived in the unit for five years received a 60-day rent increase notice after new property owners took over.

“Well, it makes me sad because a lot of musicians and artists live here,” Mario said.

Higher rents are hitting Bay Area businesses as well. At Café International downstairs, rent went up 8 percent from last year. Now it’s nearly $8,500 a month for 2,000 square feet.

“Rent increase, kicking people out,” said Zahra Sales.

The coffee shop owner of 20 years told KPIX 5 that most of her customers can’t afford a $10 coffee. So all she can do is work harder.

“A lot more hours and a lot more sweat and blood,” Sales said.

The musicians upstairs have been hit with a drum full of legal paperwork. So they’re battling back with the lawyers of their own, over lease agreements and rent control.

“Their primary motive is to make more money off the unit. That’s not good enough reason for us to leave,” Mario said.

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