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Oakland Residents Say Landlord Is Playing Dirty With 110% Rent Increase

OAKLAND (CBS SF) -- Some residents in Oakland say their landlord is playing dirty.

Tenants who live at 901 Jefferson St. in Oakland say they're mourning. On Monday, they wore black and released balloons to say farewell to their neighbors who can no longer afford the sky-high rent.

"For me, my increase was about 100 percent," says Chijoke Amah, who was paying about $1,500 a month for rent but then got a letter notifying him his rent would jump to more than $3,000 a month.

"A reasonable increase is fine," he says. "No one is complaining about that. But 100 percent is not fair. That's not OK."

RELATED: San Francisco Woman 'Repulsed' After Landlord Demands $6,700 More In Rent Each Month

Amah and his neighbors say the Berkshire Group, the Boston real estate company that recently bought their building, isn't playing fair.

"They raised rents up to 110 percent after they told us they might do 40-50 percent," says tenant Mia Medcalf. "They also had some very underhanded tactics, very questionable things that they did."

Medcalf says Berkshire based its new rental fees on inflated market rates and is forcing tenants to pay a host of new fees.

"It's displacing people," Medcalf says. And it's not just these tenants who are having the problem. The website Trulia reported that last year Oakland had the second highest rent increase nationwide.

These tenants want to change the law to allow rent control for buildings newer than 1983.

It the meantime, Amah is uncertain about the future.

Tenants say Berkshire did reach out to some people with slightly better offers after they complained.

KPIX 5 reached out to the company for comment and have not yet heard back.


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