Back in February, one of Boston’s most notorious landlords, Anwar Faisal, purchased more than 100 apartment units in Somerville.
At the time, the Somerville Journal reported Faisal said he would “keep rental prices stable for veterans, disabled, elderly or people on social security currently living in the buildings, but will raise the rents to market rate of its existing working professional tenants.”
In 2014, Faisal was a major subject in “Shadow Campus,” a multi-part series by The Boston Globe‘s investigative Spotlight team that uncovered poor conditions in many rental buildings occupied by college students.
Now tenants from the units he purchased on Summer Street in Somerville have spoken out, complaining about big jumps in rent and poor building maintenance, according to a new story in the Somerville Journal. They even delivered a petition detailing their arguments to Faisal.
According to the Journal:
“About 60 of Faisal’s new tenants signed a petition that was hand-delivered to the offices of his Allston-based property management company, Alpha Management, two weeks ago. They complained about surging rents, in at least one case up 42 percent, disorganization, and poor maintenance of the buildings. The petition has gone unanswered, according to several tenants.”
“We are lucky to live in the neighborhood we were living in and it’s a great building and we were hoping to live here for a few more years at least,” one tenant told the Journal. “This was the most well taken care of building we had been living in, and a lot of that has changed, unfortunately.”
Faisal responded to the Journal last week, saying, “The rents are extremely low so we are recovering some of the expenses … We want to pay the bill. We want to maintain the building,” he said. “It’s still below the market — why should they be complaining?”
Read the full Somerville Journal article here.