“Problem tenants” are volunteering to assist a new tenant association in a complex located at Downtown Silver Spring.
We are withholding further information from the public to protect the renters. This management company is retaliatory and showed us this weekend that they are ready to intimidate their renters.
We held organized a tenant association meeting with residents, at their request, to listen to issues concerning the community. By the end of the meeting, there was an entire board of issues residents were ready to address by forming a tenant association
Before all this progress, however, the apartment complex property manager attempted to infiltrate the meeting and intimidate the renters.
Now, the tenant association and I knew our group chat communication channel had been infiltrated by management. We had the police called on us by management when initially spreading word of the tenant meeting:
Last Sunday, a few minutes after the meeting began, we witnessed the building maintenance enter the space directly adjacent from our tenant meeting space and begin talking on their phones and two-way radios.
And sure enough, shortly thereafter, right as residents were beginning to list their issues, concerns, and grievances, the property manager/landlord entered the meeting space.
The landlord didn’t identify or introduce themself to the renters. The emcee of the meeting had to put them on the spot and request they identify themselves as the landlord in front of the renters at the meeting.
After the landlord’s introduction and some bullshitting to address the problems residents had raised during the meeting thus far, we asked the landlord to leave the meeting so the tenants may have privacy.
The landlord refused.
We informed the landlord their presence could be considered intimidation and that we were happy to arrange a meeting at a later date.
The landlord, at this point, was texting on their phone.
The residents were asked, “Do you consent to having the landlord present at the tenant association meeting?” The residents denied the landlord permission to be present at the meeting.
The landlord now had the phone to their ear, “I’m speaking to our lawyer.”
The landlord left the building talking on the phone and did not come back. The meeting went on successfully without further disturbance.
We ended the meeting with an understanding of what issues were a daily concern for renters. A group of renters agreed to volunteer for a temporary tenant association steering committee.
Given the actions already by the landlord, I hope readers will support tenants in this Silver Spring complex, as well as other rental housing, when they organize for better living conditions.
We’re building #TenantPower not only in Silver Spring, but Montgomery County and Maryland.
2-9-20 #TenantPower Journal – Downtown Silver Spring