CARMICHAEL, Calif. – Tenants at a Northern California apartment complex were shocked to find a notice on their doors advising them that their rent would be increasing by a whopping 50 percent.
Many of the tenants have lived at the Crestview complex in Carmichael for years.
“From a human and community standpoint, this is wrong,” tenant Debbie Vigil said.
Vigil, 61, has spent her whole life in California, growing her career and raising a family. Now, she’s making the heartbreaking decision to leave the place she calls home.
“It’s absolutely tearing me apart. It’s my life, and this piece of paper destroyed my life,” she told KTXL. “You feel like nothing. You feel like a number. You don’t feel like a person anymore.”
Vigil said she’s lived in her Carmichael apartment for nearly a decade, never missing a payment. She said she can’t afford to pay $1,500 a month in rent, when there’s only the $1,000 she’s paid for years in her budget.
And she’s not alone.
“What are they trying to do with us? All they care about is getting the money,” tenant Sal Marino said.
Marino says he’s lived at Crestview since 2005 with his wife and two kids, but now they may move.
“We’re thinking about moving to Alaska because it’s ridiculously expensive to live in California,” he said.
Vigil said she’s moving to Virginia. It was an uneasy decision, she says, but it’s one she could afford.
“They’re just sending the message that they don’t care. No one cares,” Vigil said. “And isn’t there anyone who cares anymore?”
The complex was sold to the Roseville-based Vertus Properties last year. Vertus has not responded to a request for comment. The notice tenants received said the rent increase is to match market rates.