SAN DIEGO — The coronavirus pandemic has left millions of people unemployed, including thousands here in San Diego. Now, imagine not being able to work, and having your rent increase at the same time. A recent social media post about this topic generated several angry comments.
These Facebook comments included:
"It just comes off as very greedy."
"I was pretty horrified when I found out they were raising our rent in the middle of Covid."
For the people who live in a three-unit building in Pacific Beach, it's been a rough few weeks. For starters, they're out work.
"Six of the nine in this building aren't working due to the pandemic. We're non-essential. That's a lot of people," said Lisa Lazarus, a tenant.
Then, just this past Friday, they each received a notice alerting them about an upcoming rent increase.
"They gave us 30 days," said Lisa. "It will start June 1, a full 7% increase and they said in the letter it's due to current market rents."
Shocked, Lisa and her sister, Libbey Lazarus, took their concerns to Facebook. Their post has since generated 200 comments from people, many upset on their behalf. Other people in San Diego are going through the same thing.
Timothy Reese lives next door.
"They're raising rent on us and we're staying at home and have no source of income right now," said Reese.
The poor timing is just one of their complaints. News 8 spoke to tenants who said the management company, Cal-Prop, has always been tough to deal with. News 8 contacted Cal-Prop, as well as the owner, but have not heard back as of early Tuesday evening.
While rent increases fall on the owner, tenants believe the owner isn't involved, and the pressure to raise rent came from Cal-Prop. Tenants said since they've taken over, rent has increased twice a year.
“We've called and left messages and they haven't called us back," said the Lazarus sisters. “Yeah, it is very frustrating. We'd like to have a conversation and let them know where we are at.”
Keep in mind, there are protections in place for people impacted by coronavirus. Tenants cannot be evicted right now, and have the option to defer rent.
Elsewhere, where this has been an issue, landlords said they have no choice, because, they too have bills to pay. Either way, the tenants News 8 spoke with said raising rent for anyone right now is wrong, given the pandemic that continues to impact people daily.
"I've talked to other friends who received an entire month for free or discount on their rent. To raise it at a time like this is pretty shocking overall," said Reese.