GREENSBORO, NC (WGHP) — For more than a decade, rent has stayed the same for tenants at the New Garden Manor complex in Greensboro, but that will change by June 1.
To accommodate new aesthetic renovations and respect market value, the price of rent per month will more than double for the senior community of sixteen people who live there.
Brown Investment Properties will raise the rent by $575 to $1,230, which the group’s vice president says is still below market value.
On Feb. On the 21st, residents received a letter that said, in part:
“The rent for New Garden Manor has been well below market rent for many, many years. Given the increase in operating costs and the need for large capital investments, the new rent for the renovated units will be $1,230/month. Residents will also be responsible for paying for their water and sewer usage, which will be billed monthly.
“You wake up in your 80s, and you feel like this is your forever home, and then it turns out it’s not,” Judy Byers said. “It’s like the rug has been pulled out from under you.”
Byers has lived at the mansion for several years and she’s not the only one feeling a state of free fall.
She and 14 of the 16 tenants responded to the landlord.
They wrote a letter explaining their concerns. They are between 57 and 89 years old. Most of them are on fixed incomes or have physical or health limitations that have limited their ability to pay the increased rent or find a new place to live with the current housing market.
They said when they signed their lease with the former property manager, they were assured that the rent would never increase by more than $25.
Brown Investment Properties responded by denying their request for a rent increase to around $725 from $1,230.
Asked about the denial of the request, Vice President Senator Peter Placentino said the rental value of $725 was still too low for market value.
He also said that in this situation they should be the bad guys.
He explained that it is the landlord’s job to set the market value of the rent and not to help those who cannot afford it find alternative accommodation.
He had no idea of the assurances that the rent would not increase or who had chosen to keep the rent at $575 for more than a decade to avoid the current financial shortfalls.
A handful of tenants have decided to stay, while others are scrambling to find accommodation that suits their limitations.
They have received help from the Greensboro Housing Coalition, but the housing market may prove too much to contend with.
When asked if there was anything else the city could do, a GHC representative said such situations can only be resolved with the help of the community.
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