San Francisco supervisor joins man's eviction battle after 400 percent rent hike

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- On Friday we told you about a San Francisco man who was being evicted from his home because he can't a 400 percent rent hike form $1,800 to $8,000. Now, Neil Hutchinson and his attorney say they're fighting it, and so is one of the city's supervisors.

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Since we aired the report on Friday, the story has gone viral. There's a lot of outrage and disbelief. The laws surrounding rent control in San Francisco are complicated. There's also state law which may apply. But one thing is certain, the tenant wants to stay.

The apartment building sits on the corner of Columbus and Scotland streets, and it has movie cred.

Clint Eastwood shot some of his police thriller "The Dead Pool" here. And apartment 25, where Hutchinson lives, has a killer view. He also has a killer rent hike.

"I've basically been hit with a rent increase of 400 percent," he said. "I don't know where I'm going to go if I have to leave here."

Hutchinson's landlord raised his rent June 1 from $1,800 a month to a whopping $8,000 a month.

He's also demanding a security deposit of $16,000.

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Hutchinson has appealed to the San Francisco Rent Board. But suddenly, the landlord served an eviction notice; a catch 22.

He now has to get out by July 21, which is weeks before the rent board decides on the rent hike. Supervisor Aaron Peskin says he's on this case.

"We're going to work with the rent board to see if we can help get that decision out more quickly," he said.

The rent hike letter also states that $8,000 dollars is the "current fair market" rental value.

Peskin, whose district includes North Beach, calls it preposterous.

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"There's nothing of that type that rents for $8,000 a month in North Beach," he said.

But the threat of eviction is now a priority.

Hutchinson's lawyer on Monday filed a response in superior court, questioning its merits.

"This will allow a judge to rule on the complaint and allow a full hearing on what we believe are the errors," said attorney Mary Cathinewiederhold.

The landlord has yet to return our calls.
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