Berkshire Group — a Boston-based real estate investment firm that reported $5.7 billion in assets last fall — purchased 901 Jefferson [Oakland, CA] from Oakland-based company Madison Park Financial Corporation for $24.7 million. In a first meeting with residents in January, representatives of Berkshire Communities, the property management arm of the company, told tenants that they would be raising rents anywhere from 10 to 50 percent, according to residents Andrea Frainier and Lena Setzermann. Those two tenants, who are roommates, helped form a tenants' association last week.
At the January meeting, Berkshire also reportedly told tenants that apartments with lower rents — meaning residents who have been in the building the longest — would be seeing the highest increases and would be getting notices in a first round of hikes. Records, however, show that some increases have been higher than 50 percent, even without factoring in the new service fees.
In addition to Zhang's notice, documents residents provided to me showed one tenant's rent jumping from $2,200 to $3,515 and another from $1,950 to $3,075. In both those cases of nearly 60 percent increases (before utility fees), the company offered somewhat reduced increases if those tenants, who are currently on month-to-month leases, signed one-year leases. But they only had thirty days to decide. Activists said this was a clearly unethical way to work around state law that requires sixty days' notice for rent increases greater than 10 percent.
People are not thinking: Gee, I wish I could live in Mountain View. But since there are no apartments, I am going to move 40 fucking miles way and spend twice as much money and deal with crack addicts shitting on the sidewalks to live in San Franscisco.
No one who says "Rent is high in SF because MV doesn't have enough units" has ever been to Mountain View or San Francisco.
posted by sideshow
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