San Francisco Rent Strike

Some fliers made it to the front step of the building. They remind me that I live in San Freaky Cisco.


From the website

Rent control has been a road block for Landowners, but it does not stop them from taking advantage of renters. For example:

– 2 bedroom apartments being advertised as 4 bedrooms
(calling the living room and dining room bedrooms),
charging twice the value of the apartment to maximize profits.
So, this guy didn’t actually notice he was moving into a tiny city apartment?

– realtors bribing senior tenants to move out so they
can jack up the rent to “market value.”
Hmm, good idea

– renters fixing their apartments themselves instead of calling
the Landowners afraid inspections will force them out.
So this guy would rather continue to live in a place that -should- be condemned rather than use the existing laws and force the landlord to make repairs? Ok… umm…

I like that the website has a (insane) poison pill statement

The FBI in the Bay Area with help from the police have been known in the past to spread disinformation to prevent popular movements from interfering with business as usual, (COINTELPRO era and beyond). DO NOT TRUST any rent strike statement you see that is racist, authoritarian, anti immigrant, sexist, factional, or contradicts anything you read in this statement. With the economy in the state that it’s in today a rent strike could very well scare many wealthy Landowners and realty companies (look up COINTELPRO).

Removing Landowners’ control over properties they don’t live on would be real property reform. They definitely shouldn’t control or profit from land they don’t need (use your imagination). Striking rent could be the beginning of this process. Our ability to organize our community will determine how successful striking rent will be.

I went to his recommended website and found this list of how terrible CitiApartments/Skyline is. From that site:

* Showing up at tenant’s doors late at night with a couple of big guys, for “inspections”
The law says they have to be “announced” and appear at a “reasonable time”. Dude, just tell them to come back tommorrow!

* Snooping around tenants’ apartments on false pretenses like inspections, and then looking for things they can use against tenants
What illegal activities were you hiding?

* Telling tenants “we can do this the easy way, or the hard way”
So you did something that caused the building to be condemned, got caught and the landlord asked you to leave. It was time to quit yesterday. Why didn’t you just leave?

* setting up tables in the lobby with a photo copier and demanding ID from tenants

* putting notices up saying tenants aren’t allowed in the building

* refusing to repair elevators in buildings full of seniors
If the elevator is in the lease, make them fix it. If not…

* telling tenants they will call the FBI, homeland security, or immigration on them
Ok, what did you do? Really?

* (in at least one case) showing up at a tenants’ door wearing fatigues and a firearm
The landlord has a license to carry in your San Francisco neighborhood? Man, you live in a shitty neighborhood. You should really move!

* pretending they didn’t receive rent and then issuing evictions for lack of payment of rent
You didn’t pay by check and you didn’t get a receipt. Ok.

* issuing evictions for roommates “in violation of lease” when roommates are legal tenants
Are they? What -exactly- does your lease say? Your friends can’t crash on your couch forever, really.

* refusing to pay interest on security deposits
Dude, it’s like 1% interest. $20/year or something. Just let it go.

* telling immigrants or people of color that their “money isn’t good here”
There are serious laws about that. If you can prove those statements, you’re golden.

* videotaping tenants as they walk out of their doors
That sounds like a good thing, since even the landlord, who is packing, got mugged with your rent money.

* letting bedbug epidimics run unabated
Umm…. get a new bed? Bedbugs are hard to get rid of, really. Sorry.

* doing construction on buildings in such an irritating way that tenants are forced to leave
Yes, you’re right, they should use hammer muffs.

* demanding meetings with tenants at the church and market office
Those Bitches!

* trying to impose draconian house rules on tenants
Which one? “Turn off your faucet before you go out of town” or “It’s 11 o’clock, turn down that crazy rap music!”

* trying to require that tenants tell them when they’re leaving town

* issuing evictions when tenants leave town for the weekend
Evictions take weeks. And why are you getting evicted? Oh yeah, you left the faucet on for 3 months while you were out of town.

* issuing evictions for messy apartments
Dude, if it smells that bad, you really should clean it up. And yes, you can get evicted for that.

* requiring tenants to hand deliver their checks
The lease has the landlord’s address at the top of it. On the 26th of every month, write and mail a check. Is it that hard? Apparently. That’s why I advocate building in late-fees to leases so when people like you write your rent check late every freaking month, the landlord says, “No problem. If received after the 5th of the month, you owe an extra $20. Pay or get out.”

* failing to fix the heat
San Francisco law is quite clear about how much heat an apartment should get. If it’s substandard, lodge a complaint. But if you want a sauna, move to Iceland. They have lots of those there.

* claiming tenants are “nuisances” and then offering them market rate rooms in other buildings
Well, with your crazy parties and running the faucet for months at a time and that smell, that smell! You should move further away. Or save some money buy your own place so you can do all those things in your own house.

Here’s the new chant for our picket line:

Free Housing! No Rent!

Free Rent! No Housing!

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