The situation at Whispering Oaks is extremely disturbing. I have written a letter to Positive Investments Inc. about their proposed rent increases there. They have a website, of course, and I would urge everyone who finds their actions in this situation to be wrong to write to them also. Additionally, I hope that city and county officials do more than “monitor” the situation. This calls for action. Any and all ordinances or laws that might apply in this case, and stop Positive Investments from increasing the rent on these senior apartments, should be utilized to protect these residents.
Following is the text of my letter to Positive Investments Inc.:
As a landlord, owning commercial property in Santa Cruz, I understand the need to make a profit on a real estate holding. That said, I also understand the fact that, as a landlord it is incumbent on me not to raise the rents to such a level as to affect the financial eviction of my tenants. Yes, I could charge “all the traffic will bear,” as I have been advised by real estate professionals in Santa Cruz. BUT I would then have forced the small businesses in my building to either relocate, go under, or perhaps both. I chose to not raise rents that high, am making a decent profit, and am rewarded with excellent tenants.
While I realize that a property management company is not a person, it is still managed by people, and depends on people for its very existence. Real estate, minus people to use, rent, buy and sell, is worthless. It seems the people on the governing board of Positive Investments Inc. have decided that it is just fine to raise rents in Whispering Oaks Senior Apartments by amounts that will, for many tenants, cause them to be evicted. Senior apartments are supposed to be for seniors. Perhaps the principals at Positive Investments Inc. thought that all seniors were capable of managing any and all increases in rent. Perhaps they are all wealthy, and also have parents who are. Or, perhaps, they don’t give a damn about real people, but only the bottom line.
According to what I see on your website, your portfolio includes a great many high-dollar, commercial, income-generating buildings. Ones where the tenants are not on a small monthly stipend, with no chance of increase. Might I suggest that, if Positive Investments Inc. needs the relative pittance that the rent increases at Whispering Oaks will provide, in order to stay solvent, that they seek these monies from the large industrial/commercial properties they manage instead?
Eventually, these elderly tenants will die. When they do, one by one, it will be possible to raise the rents on individual units. Of course, most seniors won’t be able to afford them, but at least you won’t be responsible for making people homeless, because that is the very real future some of these senior citizens face if these rents are increased.
I urge you to reconsider these outrageous rent increases and provide your stockholders and principals with this relatively small profit from non-residential holdings instead. You might also rename all your “senior” housing properties, because senior housing implies that real, live seniors can afford to live there.