The Real Deal Los Angeles

Menlo Park landlords are jacking up rents on properties near Facebook

Tenants say higher prices, displacement has become the norm
June 23, 2018 10:21AM

From left: Mark Zuckerberg, Menlo Park. (Credit: Brian Solis, Austin McKinley)

Facebook’s real life community in Menlo Park is less than happy with the virtual social network.

Landlords that own properties less than a mile from Facebook’s offices have hit long-time tenants with hundreds of dollars in rent increases–a practice they say is becoming increasing common in the neighborhood–effectively forcing many to move out of the area, according the Guardian.

Without rent controls or other legal protections, tenants who initially organized to stop the rent increases levied by the group of affiliated real estate companies, including Menlo Gate and Redwood Landing Properties, quickly ran out of options. A local non-profit was able to negotiate a delay in payment for some, though landlords did not flex on price.

“It is a completely unjust situation, even if what’s happening to these people may be legal,” attorney Daniel Saver, who represents some tenants, told the Guardian.

“Facebook is just ruining the community,” said Sandra Zamora, one of the tenants who was slapped with the increase in housing costs.

Facebook’s spokesperson said the company was investing $20 million into affordable housing initiatives and will add 1,500 units to the area–15 percent of which will be priced below market-rate rents. The company’s new multifamily project, nicknamed “Zucktown,” is being developed by Facebook largely to house its employees, it seems. [The Guardian]Erin Hudson