For more than a year, Gerardo Urbina and his family have had to place a bin in the middle of the bathroom floor to absorb water dripping from the upstairs apartment. They’ve had to kill centipede-like bugs that emerge below the bathroom sink, observe rats darting from the apartment complex dumpster, and withstand the smell of gas that permeates their home while they use the kitchen stove. These are all issues Urbina, 44, and his family has been dealing with for months as other empty units in their complex were renovated under new ownership. Upgrades haven’t been made to units already occupied by tenants. That’s why Urbina was taken aback when in March he received notice that rent for his two-bedroom apartment would be raised from $1,160 to $1,860.
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