SAN FRANCISCO (KPIX 5) – Stories of outrageous rent hikes abound in San Francisco, a city that’s been saturated with techies with tech money, but this is one of the worst ones we’ve seen.
Neil Hutchinson has been renting his apartment in North Beach for six years but he’s about to lose it.
He has been paying $1,800 a month for rent, but his landlady recently informed him she has raised the rent to $8,000 a month.
That’s a 344% increase. Even in a city like San Francisco where rents can go sky high, this rent hike takes the cake.
Hutchinson said he is in a state of “complete shock and devastation.”
“I don’t know where I’m going to go,” he said. “I had no idea it would be that much. I had some inkling they could raise the rent, but I had no idea they could raise it that much.
The apartment has three bedrooms and views of the bay. Coit Tower is just steps away.
Apartments of similar size in the area rent for an average of $6,800 a month. Still, Hutchinson’s building is more than 100 years old and a bit run down.
“Their claim is that I’m not covered under rent control and I don’t agree,” said Hutchinson.
The landlord also claims he’s not the primary renter because he was not on the original lease. He did turn in an application, though.
“I was given no notice that I was a subtenant,” he says. “I’ve deposited money directly into their account, they cashed my checks, so I don’t know what this is about.”
Neil works as a union video engineer and says he can’t afford $8,000. He could be evicted in a matter of weeks before the rent board can even hear his case.
KPIX 5 attempted to contact the landlady at Good Earth Realty, but our calls were not returned.
Hutchinson’s attorneys have asked a judge to decide whether the landlady’s paperwork passes legal muster, in an effort to buy time in an increasingly unaffordable market.