Housing crisis hits home
As Scott Thomas Anderson’s cover story this week shows, many renters in Sacramento are facing ruthless landlords who are forcing them out of their homes.
On October 6, one month and two days after moving into a nice old Midtown apartment, I walked up the steps to find a sheet of paper with blaring headlines Scotch-taped to the front door. It was a Notice to Quit the Premises, and claimed that we were two days late with our rent payment. The harshly worded document demanded that we deliver a cashier’s check to an office in Roseville in person by 5 p.m. the following day.
I felt a little panicked—we had moved in only a month earlier and liked the place—but I figured it must be a mistake. I thought I recalled signing up for automatic withdrawal when I delivered my first month’s rent.
The amount demanded exceeded our rent by $275. I expected it must have included a late penalty, but that seemed excessive. Besides, I figured: We’re new clients; we’ll negotiate; they’ll be reasonable. I went to the bank, had a cashier’s check drawn up for the amount of our rent, withdrew $300 in cash, and drove to Roseville. There, it was explained that the $275 included $150 to pay the person who taped the nasty notice to our door. They would not accept cash—I would need to find a bank in Roseville and get another cashier’s check.
I do not believe it would not be unfair for me to share the name of this property management company here and now. But I’m not going to do so, because I’m afraid of retaliation.
As Scott Thomas Anderson’s cover story this week shows, many renters in Sacramento are facing ruthless landlords who are forcing them out of their homes. Even those of us fortunate enough to keep a roof over our heads are impacted by the worsening housing crisis. Whether you support rent control, or are pushing for the construction of affordable homes, this piece should be an eye-opener.