TAACL: Tenants Association Against Corporate Landlords
Working-class communities in Boston and across the country are facing new waves of rental speculation, displacement, and homelessness. These are further stages of the same structural problem that produced the recent foreclosure crisis. When racially-targeted predatory mortgages failed, an asset-stripping process began that transferred the savings, equity, and land of working-class owner-occupants, through Wall St. banks, into the hands of large real estate corporations. Buying up foreclosed homes at bargain prices has padded their profit margin and allowed them to acquire even more buildings.
When landlords don’t live in the buildings they own, the balance of power between owner and tenant becomes very distorted. This imbalance is particularly bad when companies accumulate dozens or even hundreds of properties. To an owner who doesn’t occupy a house, it’s not a home, but a moneymaking scheme. These corporate landlords now monopolize the rental market and drive up prices, abuse their tenants, and carry out mass no-fault evictions for profit. The power imbalance can also lead to abuses like invasion of privacy; theft; substandard conditions; exposure to health risks during repair work; disrespectful treatment; and illegal lease terms.
Our response is to build strong tenants associations that work together to bargain collectively with corporate landlords and to demand policy change.
Are you a tenant of a Corporate Landlord?
Are you or anyone in your building having any of the following problems?
- Disproportionate rent increases that have no relation to higher costs, and far outstrip the rate of inflation (cost of living)?
- Invasion of privacy (landlord or its workers entering your apartment illegally without proper notice or permission)?
- Substandard or unsafe conditions (repairs not made, problems with utilities, inadequate snow or waste removal)?
- Lack of security, preventable thefts?
- Abusive or discriminatory treatment?
If so, You’re not alone! Let us know!
Here's how to get help:
Learn about your rights as a renter at MassLegalHelp, a free public service of the legal aid agencies.
Come to one of our weekly meetings to learn about your rights and talk to an attorney at no charge.
- Jamaica Plain location: Every Tuesday evening, 6:30pm at 284 Amory Street in Jamaica Plain (on the first floor)
- East Boston location: Every Wednesday evening, 6:30 at 28 Paris Street in East Boston (Our Saviour's Lutheran Church)