HIGHLAND PARK (CBSLA) — Some tenants in an apartment in Highland Park have gone on a rent strike after they were told their rent was going up.
A giant banner announcing a rent strike sits just outside Karenn Urbina’s home at the Avenue 64 Apartments in Highland Park.READ MORE: CDC, FDA Recommend Pausing J&J Vaccine Over Blood Clot Cases
“They’re hiking the rent but they’re not fixing anything,” said Urbina.
She claims several requests to Interstate Equity Corporation to fix the leak in their bathroom went ignored for months. The family uses a bucket to catch some of the water that she says has caused mold to grow in the wall.
“The water that’s dripping down it’s dirty, it’s yellow, it’s brown, it’s not clean water,” said Urbina.
She says the black garbage-bag-like tarp with duct tape was how the company attempted to finally fix it. But she says it still leaks.
The carpet is also worn, frayed and lifting.
That’s why she says she was shocked when the company sent a letter saying their rent would increase $500 to $700 beginning June 1.
“I don’t think it’s fair,” said Urbina.READ MORE: 'It's Heartbreaking': ArcLight Cinemas, Pacific Theatres Closing Permanently Due To Pandemic Losses
Other long time tenants received the same letter.
Calls and emails to Interstate Equity Corporation were not returned.
“We’re paying more but we’re not getting more,” said Urbina.
That’s why about half of the tenants are refusing to pay rent as a form of protest. The building is not rent-controlled. It’s the latest rent strike in the LA area led by the LA Tenants Union.
In addition to the large banner outside the building some tenants have also put up signs in their windows. The one outside of Urbina’s apartment says “$500-$700 rent increases with no repairs?” The next door neighbor has a sign that says “evicting people is evil.”
“We have gotten an eviction notice,” said Urbina.
Urbina says even though she’s scared, her family will continue to fight for fair rent.MORE NEWS: 'We Are Seeing Our Economy Come Back To Life': Study Shows That Consumer Confidence In OC Is On The Rise As Residents Brace For Light At The End Of The Tunnel
“Right now we’re keeping our hopes up,” said Urbina.