Disabled veteran looking to move due to significant rent hike in Cookeville

Josh Sasser
Posted at 5:49 PM, Jun 30, 2021
and last updated 2021-06-30 21:13:59-04

COOKEVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — Disabled veteran Josh Sasser said he’s going to move because his rent has increased exponentially.

Sasser lives on a quiet Cookeville street. He's been paying $1,300 a month to rent a home for his family. He got a notice saying his rent would go up to $1,850 a month which will cost thousands more a year.

"Really helpless because there’s nothing you can do about it," said Sasser.

He said housing used to be affordable when he grew up in Putnam County. "Yeah, now it’s not," Sasser said.

During the pandemic, his business ApexUonline took a hit too. He explained that moving is tough as he has a military-related injury to his shoulder. His kids are also in school nearby.

Fortunately, a local veterans group said they will help him out.

"I'm blessed because there’s some families that won’t have a support system, won’t have what they need, and they’re going to be on the streets," he said.

We left messages with Josh's landlord, The Dixie Group, but did not hear back.

Josh isn't alone. At Nashville Apartment Locators, COO Rachel Attarian said they're seeing prices go up at apartments inside the I-440 loop and outside Davidson County.

"It’s getting more difficult to find a one-bedroom even with a budget of $1,600," Attarian said.

Rachel said during the pandemic, some apartment communities hit construction delays. With work flexibility, some people are moving out to the country. In addition, she said some companies are allowing relocations again.

"We’re running out of availability downtown in general so just as a result of that, people are needing to move a bit farther out if they want to stay within their budget," said Attarian.

Josh will keep looking, but as of now, it’s not looking promising. Sasser said, “Right now, there’s two properties I’ve found online in Cookeville that will take a dog. One of them is $2,500 a month fully furnished, and the other one is not in a very great part of town.”

The state of Tennessee does not have a law that regulates rent control.