Tenants at a Northern California apartment complex were stunned to find a notice on their doors advising them that their rent would be increasing by a whopping 50%, according to KTLA sister station KTXL in Sacramento.
Many residents at the Crestview North Apartments in the Sacramento suburb of Carmichael have lived there for years. Now, they say prices are forcing them out of the state.
One woman, 61-year-old Debbie Vigil, says she's been renting at Crestview for nearly a decade and never missed a payment.
Vigil said she's always budgeted $1,000 for rent and can't afford the $1,500 the landlords are now asking her to pay.
"It's absolutely tearing me apart," Vigil told KTXL. "It’s my life, and this piece of paper destroyed my life. You feel like nothing. You feel like a number. You don’t feel like a person anymore."
The complex was sold to the Roseville-based Vertus Properties last year. Vertus has not responded to a request for comment. The notice tenants received said the rent increase is to match market rates.
Vigil has spent her whole life in California, growing her career and raising a family. But she made the heartbreaking decision to leave it behind and move to Virginia.
"From a human and community standpoint, this is wrong," Vigil said.
Vigil's not the only one who may have to leave the state by Oct. 1.
Another tenant, Sal Marino, said he's lived at Crestview with his wife and two kids since 2005.
"What are they trying to do with us?" Marino asked. "They just, basically, care about getting the money."
Marino said his family's considering a move to Alaska because "it’s ridiculously expensive to live in California."
Vigil said the decision to go out of state wasn't easy, but it was the only option she could afford.
"It's just sending the message that they don’t care," Vigil said of the landlords. "No one cares. Isn’t there anyone who cares anymore?"