Residents of a Madera apartment complex are being evicted en masse, and some suspect the landlord is issuing evictions to avoid upcoming renter protections.
Last Friday, residents at the Laguna Knolls complex were issued letters saying they have until four days after Christmas to leave.
“They gave them either a 30-day notice or a 60-day notice to kick them out on the pretext that they’re trying to make some repairs and all that, but with no guarantee they can move back in,” says Baldwin Moy. He’s an attorney with California Rural Legal Assistance in Madera.
Moy believes the landlord is targeting month-to-month tenants with the intention of raising rents before state-mandated limits take effect in January. Calls to the Laguna Knolls office and landlord were not returned for comment.
One resident being evicted is Claudia Garza. The mother of four says she just finished chemotherapy for Stage 4 cancer, and now she has to prepare to move.
“There’s not much options,” she says. “I’ve looked around, and because of the income I’m at right now, it’s kind of hard to pay the rent, save the deposit. Especially during the holidays, it’s just kind of heartbreaking.”
Her termination of tenancy notice says she has to leave four days after Christmas.
Other cities are seeing the same practice from landlords; Los Angeles City Council passed a temporary eviction freeze to stop mass evictions. Garza hopes the Madera City Council takes action during its Nov. 6 meeting.