While some properties, landlords, and tenants are a breeze, renters can expect to deal with an average three to five minor issues per year in their homes. For one San Francisco man, however, renting has proven to come with one major hiccup.
Neil Hutchinson is currently fighting eviction after his landlord bumped up his rent by more than 400% without warning. His North Beach apartment, where he has resided for the past six years, has gone from $1,800 a month to $8,000.
This three-bedroom apartment was featured in several scenes of Clint Eastwood’s 1988 movie “The Dead Pool,” making it a highly sought-after residence.
The 47-year-old Hutchinson was served an eviction notice after he was unable to pay the increased rent. He originally moved into the apartment in 2010 and signed a lease with his roommates, but the landlord is now claiming that the lease is no longer valid since the master tenant moved out last July.
“They’ve accepted money from me. I filled out an application. They are saying the lease is not applicable to me. As far as I’m concerned the rent control should apply to me,” said Hutchinson. It is on the basis of this argument that Hutchinson is appealing the rent increase through the San Francisco Rent Board.
Hutchinson filed his appeal in June; however, the case may not be decided upon until early August. Unfortunately, the tenant faces a July 21 eviction.
“I could be evicted before that decision comes through, so I honestly don’t know what I’m going to do. I’m struggling here,” lamented Hutchinson.
He added that while he cannot afford to stay in his current residence, he also can’t afford to leave the city of San Francisco where he holds a full-time position as a video engineer. “My life is in San Francisco,” he said. “I don’t have a car. The commute would be brutal to my career.”
Hutchinson is not the only San Francisco resident to suffer from increased rent prices. The city’s housing costs have skyrocketed as a direct result of the tech industry boom. According to Trulia, the median rental cost in North Beach is $6,850 a month.