“A no cause eviction? So they can put me out on the street for no reason?”

Ahrien Johnson

Ashland

Ahrien experienced a no-cause eviction despite always being on schedule with his rent payments. He faced an extremely low vacancy rate in his area complicated by needing a place that would accept pets. What he did find was an increase of more 50% over his previous rent followed by an additional increase of 16% to $1450 per month.

Ahrien Johnson moved to southern Oregon in late spring 2015 when he accepted a job offer as a field representative for the Oregon School Employees Association. His search for a place to rent in the area was a task made difficult because he has cats; and made practically impossible because the vacancy rate of rental units was down around 2 percent.

He found a place through Private Properties, a property management company. “It was a nice place,” recalls Ahrien, “I loved it. My rent was $850. Before the first of the month my check was always at the property management office.”

On April 15, 2016 he received a notice of a 30-day no cause eviction informing him had until May 15, 2016, to vacate. He thought, “A no cause eviction? So they can put me out on the street for no reason?”

It was after 5 p.m. on a Friday afternoon when he got this bad news; but it took until Tuesday before his repeated calls and messages drew a response from the property management company. After asking repeatedly for an explanation for the eviction Ahrien was told that the downstairs neighbor had complained about noise from his exercise machine. Ahrien thought that unlikely, because before he’d purchased the machine he had contacted the neighbors and asked if a tread-climber would be a disturbance for them. He’d even asked if there was a particular time of day they would prefer he avoid using it. But the neighbor had not 

expressed any concern to Ahrien. “So I feel I was evicted for no reason.

 

The only place he could find had rent that was over 50% more. Then in March 2017 he was told his rent was going to be going up to $1,450, an increase of 16%! He pushed back, and – after consulting the owner – the property company offered to increase the rent only $100 per month. Still an increase of over 8%.

 “I am taking it day by day. If I find something I may step out - if I don’t find anything I may stay for a couple of months or whatever until I can find something else.” 

“I know of a school employees, i.e. custodians, secretaries, bus drivers and the alike in Ashland who cannot live in Ashland. Their salary does not allow them to live in Ashland. I represent employees who make less than the living wage for Ashland. So to see property managers able to increase rent and forcing people out of their homes - forcing senior citizens out of their homes because they can increase their rent anytime they want to – it is wrong.”