About a year ago, a new company bought the apartment complex that I live in. It was great at first. They hired a responsive manager and actually fixed things when they were broken. But then they started renovating the building. They fixed the intercom system, which had been completely broken for more than 2 years. They repainted the hallways and put in new carpeting. They re-keyed the entire building. As people moved out of apartments, they redid those entirely too – putting in new appliances and replacing the ugly carpet with gorgeous hard wood floors.
So several months ago, I started to get freaked out. We’ve been living in our apartment for almost three years now and pay extremely low rent, especially considering the excellent neighborhood we live in – technically in Temescal and right next to Rockridge. So these renovations got me scared that they were going to raise our rent, especially since our building is too new to be covered by rent control laws.
Every time we received a letter from our landlord, I went through the same ritual. My girlfriend and I sat down and drank some wine, and then we opened the letter. But everytime we opened those letters, we breathed a sigh of relief. All of them were just alerting us of some apartment upgrade or some new rule.
Well, that is, all of them until yesterday. Unfortunately, I wasn’t at home when the letter arrived so my girlfriend skipped our usual ritual and opened the letter. She immediately called me at work and told me she had bad news – the letter alerted us that they were going to raise our rent $200 per month.
For me, $200 monthly is a lot of money. I could probably afford it, but I’d have to give up a lot of other things, like eating out and grabbing drinks at a bar after work. It wouldn’t kill me, but it would really suck.
The only reason I’m not entirely freaking out right now is that our landlord is actually being pretty nice about this and is not raising the rent until February. So we have three more months of our cheap rent, and then we need to figure out what to do.
It’s pretty likely that we’re going to move in the next few months. North Oakland is the only part of Oakland I’ve lived in. Any suggestions for Oakland neighborhoods I should check out when searching for a new apartment? Keep in mind that I’m public transit dependent.