Thursday, July 26, 2007

After lemonade: Norwood Owners Try to Evict Tenants

On Tuesday, July 24th, two Norwood Tenants Association board members were served with a quit or vacate letter from the owner's attorney, Kevin Kane..

RELATED: See
Norwood Tenants Say "We're Not Leaving"

The letter states that tenants were in violation of their lease and demands that tenants stop "loitering in common areas of the building including the lobby" and "utilizing [the lobby] for anything other than entering and exiting the building." The letter went on to say that the tenants in question were "harassing other tenants in the building," a claim that is patently false and baseless. According to the letter, tenants will be evicted after 30 days if they do not "cure the violations by...refraining from loitering ... not setting-up any table, display or other object in the lobby of the Building."

As a duly registered tenants association protected by the DC Right of Tenants to Organize Amendment Act of 2006 (DC ST § 42-3505.06), tenants have the right to organize and join, meet, or assist for the purpose of mutual aid and protection. The law states that no owner or agent shall interfere with the right of a tenant to conduct the activities related to the establishment or operation of a tenant organization including distributing literature in common areas or such as the lobby, and holding meetings in common areas. Such violations are subject to a $10,000 fine.

By threatening tenant association board members with eviction, the building owner is engaging in intimidation and harassment tactics to discourage tenants from organizing. Our goal as a tenants association is to ensure a safe and decent place to live. This includes a working elevator and no more building-wide bed bug, roach and mice infestations. We have no intention to give in to such intimidation will continue to serve lemonade and organize. Our extensive tenant petition (lawsuit) details many other landlord intimidation tactics and deplorable conditions that are allowed to fester in the building. This notice to quit or vacate follows a pattern of continual landlord and management harassment of tenants, and we again demand that it cease.

If you have any questions or suggestions, please respond to this post.

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