Tenants in an Arlington Heights apartment complex got so upset over the imposition of a new $25 per month fee that they organized and got a temporary reprieve.
Residents of Stonebridge Village Apartments assumed that the secured storage areas were an amenity included in their monthly rental. But early this year, tenants in the 500-unit complex were notified that they either had to pay an additional $25 per month beginning March 1 or remove their items from the fenced storage areas.
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"People just got angry," said Janis Cogswell, who with her husband, John, called a meeting last month of people in their building.
"Many tenants live on fixed incomes," she added. "People are saying 'What's next? If they can put new assessments on us at any time, why do we have leases?'"
Meetings were held in other parts of the six-building complex, said tenant Margaret Murphy. More than 80 people signed petitions, John Cogswell added.
And people like Murphy, who signed her lease renewal in December, were upset that the storage rental was not mentioned at that time.
When the Daily Herald contacted Chuck Lawrence, manager of the complex, he said management listens to residents, and existing tenants would only pay the fee after their lease renewals. New tenants would have the choice of renting storage units or not, he said.
The Cogswells, who talked with the Daily Herald before leaving for a volunteer trip to Chile, agreed that if the fee were imposed at the time of lease renewals residents would have time to decide whether they need and could afford the locker.