A combination of a hot rental market and a lack of rental control have spiked the cost of living in the South Bay as many tenants are grappling with rent increases. Marianne Favro reports.
A combination of a hot rental market and a lack of rental control have spiked the cost of living in Campbell as many tenants are grappling with rent increases.
Juan Gonzales said he now works an eight extra hours a week as a bartender to afford his two-bedroom apartment in Campbell.
"It's hard for me," Gonzales said. "I got five kids. It's hard for me."
The rent increases keeps Martin Eichner busy.
Eichner is a case manager at Project Sentinel, which helps resolve landlord tenant disputes. He said five years ago he received five complaints a year about rent increases. Now he's taking 20 calls a month.
Some landlords NBC Bay Area talked to said they lost money for several years when many of their units sat empty during the dot com bust, and now they are just trying to keep up with the increasing costs of maintaining a complex.
Landlords in Los Gatos are required to tell their tenants they can address their concerns about rent increases through a dispute resolution program like sentinel.
Eichner said mediation often benefits tenants, but many are afraid to pursue that option because of fear of retaliation from their landlords.