Sunday, March 13, 2016

Another Landlord Wastes No Time Implementing Renovation Plans, Begins Giving Low-Income Tenants In Recently-Purchased 118-Unit Building The Boot

In Bremerton, Washington, the Kitsap Sun reports:
  • Tenants are being evicted from the Admiral Manor apartments in Bremerton as a new owner prepares to renovate the buildings.

    One group of residents was given 20-day notice and has until Monday to move out, according to tenants who spoke with the Kitsap Sun [] and provided copies of their eviction notices. The tenants said they were told the apartments will be upgraded and rents will be raised substantially. The 118-unit Bloomington Avenue complex offers some of the lowest rents in the area, with one-bedroom units costing about $650 a month.
    The new owner is The Stratford Co., a Seattle real estate firm that operates at least 10 other apartment complexes in the Puget Sound region, according to its website. County documents show Stratford bought the apartments in late January. A sale price was not yet listed.

    Emails and phone calls left for Stratford representatives were not returned []. A property manager at the complex declined to comment on the changes.

    Bremerton Housing Authority Housing Director Sarah VanCleve said the agency has heard from tenants being evicted from the property. Nine people who live there receive Section 8 rental assistance, she said. Housing authority inspectors had received reports of bedbugs and other problems at the apartments.

    Laurleen Smith was moving boxes out of her Admiral Manor apartment []. She'd been given another unit in the complex to move to temporarily.

    The new owners want to attract a higher-end demographic, Smith said. She paid $635 a month for her apartment and heard rents would be going up to $1,100 after the remodel. "We're not the right monetary demographic, or any other demographic," said Smith, who commutes to a call-center job in Tacoma.

    Smith said the Admiral wasn't a great place to live — she was nervous when she moved in last year. The alley in back was "sketchy," she said. But she found most of her neighbors were nice and quiet. "We're too poor to rob each other," Smith said.

    Displaced Admiral Manor residents are wading into a tight rental market. The vacancy rate at large apartment complexes in Bremerton was about 2.6 percent at the end of 2015, according to Tom Cain of Apartment Insights Washington.

    A representative of Madrona Estates, an Auto Center Way apartment complex that offers similar rents to Admiral Manor, said he had 40 names on a waiting list for units.

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