Why Should I Create A Tenant Union?
Laura and Howard Russell (aka HR Properties/HR Napoleon) own over a hundred properties in New Orleans and have been used by a number of tenants, fined by the city, and have new stories written about them. Still, they continue to fail to make repairs, they intimidate tenants and keep security deposits. Tenants have been injured or have developed medical conditions from being in their properties, several of which have had collapsing ceilings and infestations of invasive termite species. Even with these issues, they have risen the rent on their properties.
If you are having issues with your landlord, reach out to other tenants, even if you don’t live in the same complex. Document everything if you can, and that includes photos of the problems. Organize to keep track of tenants, issues, and the responses from the landlord. Landlords will try to intimidate tenants if they find out, so build relationships or start with the relationships you already have before flyering. Work with lawyers and tenants rights groups like the Renters’ Rights Assembly. Not only have tenants won against landlords this way, but they also have been able to help change policy in a way that helps all renters across the city!