S. Hill landlord compromises with tenants angry over rent hike

S. Hill landlord compromises with tenants angry over rent hike

Up until recently, most of the residents of Westview Manor Apartments on Cannon and 10th had been living there for years. 

A decent neighborhood, with a very manageable rent.

“Some of the rents were varied from others. Some were $450, $475, $500, $550,” explained George Janosky, the building’s new landlord.

While the term “market rate” can vary depending on who you speak with – Janosky’s knowledge of the Lilac City’s renting scene cannot be argued.

“We have 24 buildings, about 146 units right now. “they’re all located on the lower South Hill in Spokane. I’ve been a landlord there for almost 45 years.”

As Janosky came to find out, his new tenants had all signed what the State Tenant’s Union would call a “one way lease.”

“A one way lease only protects the landlord,” explained Terri Anderson, a union representative. “So it binds the tenant to remain in the property for the 12 month period and actually has a penalty involved if they leave, but it allows the landlord to raise the rent during those terms.”

So, by letter of the lease, Janosky was within his rights to raise the rent $475 per unit. He was, as you can imagine, met by resistance. Wednesday, after consulting with the City Council and the Landlord Association, he came up with the following compromise:

Moving expense reimbursement up to $2,000 and another 30 days, or until August, before the rent increases. The tenants asked for an extra 60 days.

Anderson had mixed feelings about the offer;

“We are going to meet with the tenants in the building and see if they’re agreeable to this. I think that is the biggest concern, the amount of time they would be given, and that was not included in this agreement.”