Residents of 2 Stamford apartment complexes say new owner is pricing them out of homes
The tenants at two apartment complexes in Stamford say they are outraged after a new owner took over - causing rent increases, no staff on site and no way to get a hold of anyone.
Daycroft Apartments and sister complex Hamilton Gardens have a combined total of 188 garden-style apartments. The units are more affordable than other places in Stamford.
Their website lists monthly rent for a one-bedroom apartment at $1,440 and a two bedroom for $1,660. Upgraded units at Daycroft are about $200 more.
"It's not one of these brand-new places that are all fixed up and high maintenance. It's a safe, clean place to live," said tenant Jim Mammone.
Residents say there were no extra fees and on-site staff was always available.
Then the last week of December the properties were bought by Empire Realty out of Brooklyn, New York.
Mammone's rent will go up by $350 a month, and others will go up $400.
Tenants say they've tried to get answers from Empire Realty, but no one picks up the phone.
News 12 called and emailed the company with questions but didn't get a response back.
"This feels like a way that undermines what our administration is trying to do to make Stamford more affordable," said Robert Roqueta, tenant of Daycroft Apartments.
Roqueta not only lives at Daycroft, he's on the Stamford Board of Representatives and the committee to create more affordable housing opportunities.
"And here I am getting pushed out of one," he said.
"There's been some people getting notices about mid-lease increases in terms of price and a lot of people have reached out to me because they didn't know if that was something that could be done or not," said Susie Calabrese.
Calabrese lives in Hamilton Gardens and works for the Riverside Realty Group. Calabrese has been in talks with the city's Fair Rent Commission.
"There is no rent control in the state of Connecticut but they wouldn't be able to increase our rent mid-lease," she said.
Still, many tenants say whenever the hike comes, they won't be able to afford it.
"I don't know what my future is going to be," said Mammone. "There's a lot of seniors here too and it's going be tough for them."
Stamford's Social Services Commission Coordinator says she has spoken to Empire Realty and is looking into the situation.