Renters facing eviction seek housing in tight market

Renters facing eviction seek housing in tight market

Aubrie Abeno
Marina View Towers

Dozens of renters are looking for new homes after receiving eviction notices from the new owners of their complex.

Carmel Apartments, a subsidiary of San Francisco-based Carmel Partners, sent eviction notices to 84 families at Marina View Towers, they said, to perform seismic retrofits. The company purchased the building, at 1100 Pacific Marina, for $18 million in May.

Renters said they were notified July 1 they have until the end of August to pack up and move out – right in the middle of peak moving season and a market in which rentals are becoming increasingly costly. As of July 18, renters occupying 20 units already left, but only 38 out of 84 of them relayed their moving dates to Marina View’s manager, according to the calendar posted in her office.

The summer months in Alameda are especially challenging for apartment hunting families. Compared to neighboring cities, Alameda is seen as an ideal place to raise youngsters. Parents of young children consider summertime the perfect period for upgrading the nest and relocating closer to school. Knowing this, movers and van rentals servicing the city are hiking up their rates, according to a Marina View tenant who declined to be named.

“We haven’t found a place yet,” said Bob Wilson, a husband, father of two, and resident of the apartment complex for two years. He said he’s expected to leave by August 15.
“It’s going to be hard to find a three-bedroom like this in Alameda,” Wilson said.

Some Marina View tenants ultimately relocated to Oakland, San Leandro, even as far away as Stockton, according to a 39-year-old tenant who would only give his first name, Jaime. Like Wilson, he lives with his wife and two children and is slated to move out in mid-August. However, he recently managed to find housing in Alameda.

“We were one of the lucky ones,” he said.

The tenants said they received no reimbursement for moving costs, though City Manager John Russo told the City Council on Tuesday that the building’s new owner told city staff relocation assistant was being provided and that all but 25 of the complex’s tenants had left. Alameda has no city ordinances or policies on its books regarding compensation for tenants displaced from their homes.

When asked to comment, Marina View Towers manager Charlene Cancel deferred inquiries to the new owners of the building. The owners didn’t respond to an e-mail seeking additional comment Wednesday.

Carmel Partners, Inc. is a real estate company located in San Francisco’s North Beach district. After seismic retrofitting, the building is slated to reopen in summer of 2014.

Comments

Submitted by Miss Kae Oz on Thu, Jul 25, 2013

What is the state of tenants rights in Alameda? Are there any?

Submitted by RayRay on Thu, Jul 25, 2013

I moved out of Marina View Apartments on 14 July. They promise to give us the security deposit within 3 to 5 business days.
It's been 9 days and I have yet to receive anything. They owe me almost $2000.00 on pet deposits, rent and security deposit.
Charlene Cancel, the manager did everything she could to help us out; however the new ownership is not following up with their promises.

Submitted by Paul (not verified) on Thu, Jun 26, 2014

I lived in the building for ten years. I have been watching the retrofit project - they really are doing a MAJOR seismic upgrade to the building. Just got a letter that my old apartment will be available in a few months, for $1000 more than before. The rental agent told me that only one of the three elevators is ADA-compliant - two of the elevators' exterior doors continue to need to be manually pulled open to enter or exit the elevator on all floors, which makes it nearly impossible for wheelchair users or walker users to operate.

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