Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Not even renters are safe

When the owners of large apartment complexes go bust, residents are left to fend for themselves:

Nicholle Krause first noticed the weeds sprouting in the usually well-manicured grounds of her 320-unit apartment complex in Chandler, Ariz., in December. Soon, signs of neglect began multiplying: Garbage spilled over from the dumpsters, the water in the swimming pool turned a slimy pea green and the grounds were infested by swarms of bees — especially alarming because Krause is severely allergic to bee stings.

“I couldn’t even go outside to enjoy where I live,” said Krause, a 21-year-old office worker who pays $827 a month for a one-bedroom apartment with garage space. “I shouldn’t have to pay $800 a month to live in a … hole.”

It wasn’t until early March that Krause and other residents learned why the complex – the alluringly named Alante at the Islands — was rapidly going to seed. The property owner, Irvine, Calif.-based Bethany Holdings Group, had abandoned the complex and a dozen other large rental properties in the greater Phoenix area after defaulting on hundreds of millions of dollars in loans.

The worst threat is a shut-off of utilities, which some properties have avoided only through court-appointed receiverships:

In one abandoned Bethany property — the 500-plus-unit Granite Bay in Phoenix — tenants were served notice by the water company on March 6 that their water would be shut off in five days because of an outstanding $64,000 bill. Alarmed residents only found out shortly before the deadline that a Las Vegas company, 707 Management Services Inc., had been appointed as receiver for the property and would see that the water remained on.

Other Bethany complexes were threatened with gas or electricity shut-offs due to non-payment of bills. And staff at many of the Phoenix area properties said they had not been paid for a month or more before courts began appointing receivers to assume control of the complexes.

It's chilling to observe how quickly a central banking/fiat money/fractional reserve system can reduce a First World community to Third World squalor.

Is anybody out there still ridiculing survivalism as a crank obsession? By the time this Depression is through with us, fleeing uninhabitable areas, scrounging, and hoarding will have become widely shared experiences. California already has its 21st century Hoovervilles, like this one in Sacramento.

1 comment:

  1. For those wise enough to invest in survival goods, I hope they thought of getting at least one good tent. I'm still hoping to get my hands on a military surplus GP Small.