Anwar Faisal’s New Somerville Tenants Already Have All Sorts of Problems
Back in February, Anwar Faisal, considered by some to be the worst landlord in Boston, purchased 100 units on Summer Street in Somerville, with the expressed intent to raise most rents to market rate—a hike between 5 and 7 percent.
But just three months later, residents of the two 116-year-old apartment complexes say their new landlord hasn’t kept his word.
Faisal has jacked up rents, in one case more than 40 percent, while the building has fallen into disrepair, the Somerville Journal reports. About 60 tenants signed and hand-delivered a petition to the Allston offices of Faisal’s Alpha Management. They complained of skyrocketing rents paired with lousy, often unresponsive building maintenance.
Christopher Wand, who has lived in a two-bedroom apartment in Faisal’s complex for the last three years, said Alpha not only changed the locks on the front door without telling anyone, but would routinely conduct work on the water system without notice, leaving him without hot water. Several other tenants reported a mouse problem, which they say is a recent development.
“For us it’s less about the money and about feeling respected and them knowing what’s going on and know about the building and knowing about us,” Wand told the Journal. “It would be pretty sad to have to leave this building. It’s a beautiful building… It would be a shame to see it become like the stories of Alpha’s other buildings.”
Faisal became infamous for the reportedly decrepit conditions in some of his more than 2,000 apartments, inhabited in large part by college students, thanks to a 2013 Boston profile, as well as a Globe Spotlight team investigation the following year.
“It’s still below the market,” Faisal told the Journal on Friday, defending the hikes. “Why should they be complaining?”
[h/t Megan Turchi]