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SAN DIEGO – Tenants at a North Park apartment complex say they’re seeing rent prices rise beyond their incomes and some are now worried they may become homeless as a result.

They say rent prices at North Park Towers in the area of Kansas Street and Madison Avenue potentially are going up beyond what is legally allowed. The California Tenant Protection Law limits annual rent increases to no more than 5% plus the local Consumer Price Index or inflation rate or to 10%, whichever is lower.

Tenants here say their rent should only be going up 9.1%, according to the rent cap law. But many told us their rent is going up from 10% to as much as 86%.

Daniel Palmer, a Section 8 tenant, shared with FOX 5 a notice that his rent would nearly double.

“(It was) $1,045 and it went up to $1,950, so I can not pay that,” Palmer said. “It exceeds what I make every month.”

But the lawyer for their complex says the tenants are wrong. The lawyer says the statute is written ambiguously and argues that it can raise their rent legally by 10%.

Any Section 8 tenants will not see a rent increase unless it is approved by Section 8, the lawyer said.

Still, renters Thursday said they’re struggling to survive with some of the highest rent, steepest gas prices and priciest electricity bills in the country.

“I’m back on the streets again if I don’t find suitable housing,” Palmer said.

Another tenant named Michelle told FOX 5 that due to the pandemic’s impact on the economy, higher rent prices are not affordable to a lot of the tenants in the building.

“They’re raising rent,” Michelle said. “They’re raising groceries. Money going out is so much higher than money going in so there’s definitely a panic going on here. Not only in North Park but in the San Diego area.

“Everybody is very stressed out. Very on edge and kind of not knowing what’s going to happen next.”

Although the lawyer says rent was increased to market value, tenants say they plan to keep fighting the increase.