Vail Daily letter: Renters’ rights | VailDaily.com

Vail Daily letter: Renters’ rights

The apartment building that I have lived in for four years now has recently been sold. The new owners (unknown who they are) have contracted with a professional property management company out of Avon to manage the building. Yesterday, Aug. 13 at 6 p.m., I found a notice dated Aug. 12 at said time: 4 p.m., from the property managers wedged in my front door. It is titled “Rental Increase Notification.” It states that as of Sept. 1, rental rates will be increased. This will affect new and renewing leases.

Second page is titled “Final notice for lease renewal” (didn’t get a previous notice of this). It continues to inform me that this is my final reminder that my lease will be expiring. (Very negative contact, I think.)

The first page of this document that was left at my doorstep stated that the rent for a two-bedroom apartment, which I am in, will be increased $100 a month. Ouch! But doable. There is a phone number, so I call. Ask to talk to who is managing my building. A lady gets on the phone with me. I tell her who I am and what apartment I live in. I tell her I am upset with the notice left at my door. She replies that I shouldn’t be concerned, the building has been purchased and placed in their management. How can she help? I ask about the rent increase. She confirms my apartment number, and proceeds to inform me that since I have a garage my rent will increase $250 a month! That is an increase of 21.74 percent a month?! At best I may receive a pay increase of 4 percent a year!

I am asked if I will be renewing my lease, as if it was nothing. I respond that that is a lot of money — $3,000 a year! What am I going to receive in return for this rent increase? She doesn’t have an answer.

Now I realize this lady is just an hourly employee for this management company, but come on! Three thousand dollars a year increase in rent, in Gypsum!

So I come home to my high-dollar rental and look in the paper for options. Nothing! There is nowhere to go. I have twin girls in college that I am spending $900 a month on, and a property owner that wants to bend me over and stick it to me. What about the other renters in this building? We have no recourse but to suck it up and feed these greedy slumlords.

If we all worked at the same employer, we could strike for better wages, working conditions, or better benefits. Where are “renters rights”?!

I now have to call my kids and tell them that they are going to have to do more with less.

The thieves are all around us.

Patrick Johnson