SAN FRANCISCO—The rent for one San Francisco resident Neil Hutchison has gone up 300 percent. Hutchinson is fighting eviction from his apartment after his landlord hiked up his rent from $1,800 a month to 8,000.
According to the NY Daily News, Hutchinson, 47, has being living at his apartment on the intersection of Columbus and Scotland Streets in North Beach for 6 years. According to the NY Daily News, the hike is being called one of the largest ever by the San Francisco Tenant’s Union.
Scott Weaver of the San Francisco’s Tenant’s Union told the NY Daily News that, “I can’t remember an increase this huge.”
Hutchinson filed an appeal with the San Francisco Rent Board, which deals with issues like this. He is being represented by attorney Mary Catherine Wiederhold. In January 2016 the San Francisco Rent Board learned that Hutchinson’s landlord had been overcharging him for several years and implemented several rent increases. Hutchinson’s rent hike is the highest Widerhold has ever seen in her 15 years working of with residential tenants.
“This is an unfair increase in what appears to be many housing code violations in Neil Hutchinson’s home and in his building,” Wiederhold told the NY Daily News.
According to the NY Daily News, Hutchinson was told in March that his rent would be increased on June 1.
According to RawStory, Hutchinson moved into the three-bedroom apartment in 2010 and signed a lease with his roommates — but now the landlord said the lease is no longer valid. He was unable to pay the increased rent and was served with an eviction notice. The master tenant moved out last July, and the property owner claims the lease no longer applies to Hutchinson.
He told RawStory that, “They’ve accepted money from me. I filled out an application. They are saying the lease is not applicable to me. As far as I’m concerned the rent control should apply to me.”
San Francisco News reached out to Hutchinson for comment, but did not hear back. On Facebook, Hutchinson has supporters rallying beside him. One of his Facebook friends, Joe McGaha shared Hutchinson’s story on a Facebook group for Bernie Sande Activists along with a photo of Hutchinson holding a Bernie Sanders 2016 poster. McGaha also included a link to a Change.org petition to help support Hutchinson on his eviction. The petition was created by San Francisco resident Francesca Thompson who wants to help prevent Hutchinson from evicted. The petition currently has 21 signatures.
Hutchinson’s three bedroom pad apartment is located in a building made famous by the 1988 Clint Eastwood flick “The Dead Pool,” in which various scenes of the interior were used.