SPOKANE, Wash. — Tenants of a North Spokane senior apartment complex say they are facing a sudden rent hike and some fear they will have to move.
Many of the tenants at the Vintage at Spokane Senior Apartments will see an increase in their monthly rent on Aug. 1. The amounts vary for each tenant.
Steve Richardson said he received a notice saying his rent will go up by more than a $100 each month.
"I don't like it. That's $119 I could put to better use," Richardson said.
He said that, while he will be able to afford it, some of his neighbors will not be so fortunate.
"People are up in arms about it. It was like the villagers carrying torches and pitchforks up to the castle. It was just mob action and I don't blame them," Richardson said.
Terri McCabe is considering leaving the state to live with her son. She's been at the Vintage Apartments for nearly 12 years but cannot afford the nearly $200 monthly rent hike.
"I don't even make $800 a month to live on and that's with SSI (Supplemental Security Income) and social security and they go up more than $200. That takes half my income," McCabe said.
Both Richardson and McCabe signed one year leases and they do not end in August.
The tenants say there is clause in their rental agreement which allows an increase in the cost of rent if the Bureau of Labor and Statics finds that Spokane County's median income has increased.
According to the Vintage Apartment website, the complex is managed by FPI Management. The company is based in California.
KREM 2 News reached out to the company for comment and has not heard back.
Spokane Councilwoman Kate Burke hosted a town hall meeting with the Vintage Apartments tenants on Thursday evening. In a press release she compares the rent increase to an eviction.
“Spokane has been facing rising housing costs that are unsustainable for many of our residents,” Burke said. “While this type of rent increase that could leave 200 people without a home is not out of the norm, it is still shocking. We need to ensure that residents have housing stability in Spokane.”
Now, tenants have come together to speak up in the hope, perhaps, it will save others like them the same kind of financial pain.
"I think they are just wanting to get us out of here, low income people, so they have the apartments for higher pay and that's all their concerned about," McCabe said.