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Lease nonrenewals prompt New Yorker residents to team up with KC Tenants

Posted at 11:48 PM, Apr 08, 2023
and last updated 2023-04-09 00:50:19-04

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Stefannie Sippel has been a resident of The New Yorker in Kansas City, Missouri, since 2019.

The retiree says she's "real happy" to live in the building.

But in March, Sippel received a letter from Mac Properties, the company that owns her building, that made her fearful for her future as a resident.

“I was in tears. It was just so sudden to me,” Sippel said.

Sippel currently pays $530 for her unit, with utilities included, and the letter threatened to increase that figure dramatically.

“On March 22, they actually issued lease nonrenewals, essentially a notice to vacate and that if the tenants did not get out by the end of April there would be quote-on-quote consequences such as raising their rent as high as 150%,” said Gabe Coppage, organizer with KC Tenants, Midtown Tenant Union.

The sudden notice left Sippel feeling as though her "heart fell down into my stomach."

So, unsure of what would happen next, Sippel reached out to KC Tenants for help. She was introduced to Coppage and the two worked to create a list of demands for Sippel and her neighbors.

“To extend the move-out date to six months, to pay for all moving expenses, guaranteed relocation into another Mac unit but at the exact same rate that they are paying now,” Coppage said.” Also, wave all the approval processes and pay the deposit, first month's rent as well as any fees.”

After forwarding the demands to Mac Properties, with the help of city leaders including Kansas City, Missouri, City Councilman Eric Bunch, tenants at The New Yorker received the below reply from the company.

KSHB 41 reached out to Mac Properties to ask why the tenants originally received lease nonrenewals and what led to the decision to let tenants stay.

Regional Manager Anthony Weatherington and another representative Pete Cassel claim the nonrenewal message was automated and sent in error.

In the end, Sippel and KC Tenants say they are pleased by the outcome but believe their work is not done.

“I’m hoping I’m doing some good, I mean that's not just me, I got my neighbors to think about too,” Sippel said.