Saturday, February 17, 2018

A Housing Nightmare at Age 71

Ten months ago I moved into an age 55+ apartment complex in north Escondido.  A week ago while I was away, management posted a notice on my door for anyone to see stating that my lease would not be renewed with no reason given. I was never late with the rent. Staff told my daughter it is “a business decision.”  

I did some research and learned that once I vacate, management will “upgrade” the apartment by possibly removing shower doors, replacing kitchen countertops, or adding vinyl fake wood floors after which management will rent the unit to a new tenant for as much as $2,100 rent per month,  an increase of up to 56% (~$750) more than I pay per month. Usual annual increases here are ~$100 per month. Six other tenants must soon move out of just this one of eight buildings on the property where all are subject to being forced to move when leases come up. The complex was sold about a year ago and is under new management, all of whom have poor communication skills and mean attitudes. Living conditions immediately went from so so to horrid. 

In 10 months of my tenancy I have experienced the following problems:  failed AC during heat wave; major plumbing issues to include no hot water for days then no water at all, failed water heaters; rat and ant infestations; stinking trash piled up for weeks due to dumping remodeling debris, trash, old appliances and furniture; homeless person encamped inside the building though two managers are in residence on 1st and 3rd floors; car break in; exterior doors of building left propped open; dark halls; disrespectful staff and managers; parking issues; exercise room with minimal old equipment; pools closed for weeks in the summer;  standing water; construction defects. I have had to stand up for myself at every turn. No picnics here. 

Many senior tenants, with fixed incomes or health issues are now challenged to find affordable decent safe housing that does not exist. Most live on a fixed income and cannot afford $2,100 in rent. While the corporate owner relishes in profiteering and greed, some sick and elderly may soon find themselves homeless.  Many are veterans. 

This is no way to treat anyone, especially a senior citizen.

Escondido does not have rent control. Statewide rent control legislation failed to recently pass. Litigation is costly. Good not for profit advocates are rare. Use discretion before moving your mom or dad into age 55+ housing. Be alert to fake smiles and sales pitches. Investigate before signing a lease. If you get an off feeling, pay attention. away, management posted a notice on my door for anyone to see stating that my lease would not be renewed with no reason given. I was never late with the rent. Staff told my daughter it is “a business decision.”  

I did some research and learned that once I vacate, management will “upgrade” the apartment by possibly removing shower doors, replacing kitchen countertops, or adding vinyl fake wood floors after which management will rent the unit to a new tenant for as much as $2,100 rent per month,  an increase of up to 56% (~$750) more than I pay per month. Usual annual increases here are ~$100 per month. Six other tenants must soon move out of just this one of eight buildings on the property where all are subject to being forced to move when leases come up. The complex was sold about a year ago and is under new management, all of whom have poor communication skills and mean attitudes. Living conditions immediately went from so so to horrid. 

In 10 months of my tenancy I have experienced the following problems:  failed AC during heat wave; major plumbing issues to include no hot water for days then no water at all, failed water heaters; rat and ant infestations; stinking trash piled up for weeks due to dumping remodeling debris, trash, old appliances and furniture; homeless person encamped inside the building though two managers are in residence on 1st and 3rd floors; car break in; exterior doors of building left propped open; dark halls; disrespectful staff and managers; parking issues; exercise room with minimal old equipment; pools closed for weeks in the summer;  standing water; construction defects. I have had to stand up for myself at every turn. No picnics here. 

Many senior tenants, with fixed incomes or health issues are now challenged to find affordable decent safe housing that does not exist. Most live on a fixed income and cannot afford $2,100 in rent. While the corporate owner relishes in profiteering and greed, some sick and elderly may soon find themselves homeless.  Many are veterans. 

This is no way to treat anyone, especially a senior citizen.

Escondido does not have rent control. Statewide rent control legislation failed to recently pass. Litigation is costly. Good not for profit advocates are rare. Use discretion before moving your mom or dad into age 55+ housing. Be alert to fake smiles and sales pitches. Investigate before signing a lease. If you get an off feeling, pay attention.