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Shocking $6,200 North Beach rent hike makes headlines around the world

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Is it the highest of all time?

One North Beach man saw his monthly payments rocket to the tune of a $6,200 increase, an increase of 344 percent over the $1,800 he’s been paying since 2010. When ABC7 broke the story on Friday, they said tenant advocates couldn’t remember a rent increase that steep.

Well, back in 2015 if you recall, one unlucky Bernal Heights resident saw her monthly rent jump $6,755. While that's a higher dollar amount, it's a smaller percentage. Nevertheless, a similar shock.

But whether the former's rent bump is an unenviable first place or a painful runner-up, it’s all the same to tenant Neil Hutchinson, who also told reporters that, of course, he’s being evicted for not being able to pay his new $8,000 rent. Landlord Sophie Lau has not returned messages asking for comment.


To be fair, a three bedroom apartment in North Beach is a pricey proposition for anybody these days. The average rent for a Trulia listing in that neighborhood is nearly $7,000. On Craigslist, three bedroom places start at $5,600, and go as high as $12,000.

But the building at 1954 Mason Street is 110 years old, and Hutchinson showed the Chronicle his disintegrating bathroom ceiling. The there’s a history of liens against the place, and the city has complained about the building’s shabby exterior, "rotting" roof, and unpermitted alterations.

Hutchinson is appealing the rent increase. His story made headlines as far away as Australia over the weekend.

Curbed SF will have more on this story as it unfolds.