The Natomas Park Master Association, which represents nearly 4,000 property owners, notified renters in a Dec. 5 letter that the association would stop issuing club membership cards to non-owners. Existing tenant membership would be allowed to expire, the letter said.
Victor Goytia learned of the new policy just weeks after signing a one-year lease on a home that rents for $1,900 per month. He said club membership was a major factor in his decision to rent in Natomas Park.
"They (the landlord) specified in the ad that there were three swimming pools, kids' facilities and so forth," Goytia said. "I was surprised when they (club management) told me they didn't allow renters to use the facility."
A promiment property management firm in Natomas Park is bracing for fallout from hundreds of angry clients -- both tenants and owners.
"In the 16 years I've been in business I've never heard of anything like this," said Liesa Wells of Sacramento Delta Property Management.
Wells said the club's amenities helped attract quality tenants for her owners. "That was part of our advertising," she said.
The president of the Natomas Park Master Association told News10 the policy change was approved by over 70 percent of property owners who voted in mail balloting last summer.
Robert Thompson said keeping track of hundreds of tenant membership cards put an undue burden on the club's staff at the expense of resident owners.
"Some people might look at this as snobbery, but that's not our intent," Thompson said.
Goytia plans to ask the landlord for a rent reduction now that he has no access to the club facilities.
"I have a 5-year-old daughter asking why she can't go to the club, but her friends can," Goytia said. "It's hard to explain to her that we're just lowly renters and not homeowners."