North Knoxville tenants angry after landlord doubles rent; some face homelessness

Rand Property Management recently bought Tanglewood Apartments and doubled the rent, leaving some tenants worried about their future.
Rand Property Management recently bought Tanglewood Apartments and doubled the rent, leaving some tenants worried about their future.
Published: Jul. 31, 2023 at 7:27 PM EDT
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KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) - Some people at a North Knoxville apartment complex are fighting to stay in their homes after new management doubled the rent.

Some of the tenants said they’re preparing to be homeless as a result.

“These are people’s lives, man. These are human beings,” said Brandon Mischlich, a tenant at Tanglewood Apartments.

Some tenants are afraid. “Start packing and prepare for an eviction notice,” said Julie Mullins, another tenant of the complex.

Mischlich and Mullins are two of the several frustrated tenants of Tanglewood Apartments in North Knoxville.

Tenants said a one-bedroom apartment cost around $800 dollars a month under old ownership. Some were even cheaper.

Rand Property Management bought the property less than two weeks ago. Tenants said new leases start at nearly $1,500.

“This is my life, this is their lives, man,” Mischlich said.

Mischlich said he’s in a particularly difficult situation.

His lease expired on Monday, the last day of July, and neither the old management nor the new management offered him a lease renewal, which is something landlords are supposed to do at least 30 days in advance. He fears he’ll be kicked out on short notice.

“This is my home, I lived here, I’m a native of Knoxville. I served in the Old Guard, I did Trump’s inauguration. I did 1,400 funerals for soldiers in WWII, Korea, Vietnam. And this is the thanks I get. See you later, go pay double, bye veteran,” Mischlich said.

Mischlich said he’s working with the VA and a social worker in case he does get evicted.

Like Mischlich, Mullins’ lease expired on Monday too, and she was never given a lease renewal. She said she’s disabled and is worried about being kicked out on short notice.

“Right now, we don’t have a plan because we didn’t plan on being homeless in the first place,” Mullins said. “We were going to sign for another year.”

Mullins and Mischlich are waiting to hear something from management about steps forward.

The group of tenants plans on attending next week’s Knoxville city council meeting to advocate for rent increase limits.

WVLT News reached out to Rand Property Management for comment.

Chief Operating Officer Jennifer Outland said the increase accounts for a business plan that includes around $1 million in repairs, renovations and upgrades to the community.

“The plan also includes increasing rent prices to be aligned with market rates at nearby communities,” Outland said.

Residents will receive information about rent increases at the end of their current lease contracts through a renewal offer.

Outland said that residents who received notices about rent increases, which were only seven, had until Sept. 1 to either renew their lease or move out.

Rand Property Management encouraged residents to call or come by the office and discuss any concerns. “Many alarmed and frustrated Residents have visited the office and been given correct information,” Outland said. “This has given our Residents significant peace of mind and clarity after more than a week of false information.”