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Citiwide Rent Strike/Slowdown

Posted by Housing Solidarity Network on May 26, 1997 at 21:59:45:

Let the politicians in Albany know as they debate the fate of 2.7+ million tenants on June 15, that:


On June 15, as upstate politicians decide the4 fate of the 2.7+ million tenants in NYC, they should meet onder a giant shadow--a shadow cast by hundreds or thousands of tenants who did not pay their rent on June 1st!

HOLD ON TO YOUR RENT IN JUNE and pay it after you get a formal demand--if necessary at the end of June. By making June a NO RENT MONTH, we will be sending all the politicians a warning more powerfully than a mere fax, email, letter or phone call. We will be telling them that we know our power, and are ready to use it if our homes are threatened. Our power rests in the billions of dollars we pay each month, i ncludin those dollars used to buy the votes of the upstate Republicans.

THIS IS A SAFE STRATEGY--because your landlord is requaired by law (RPAPL 7-11) to be able to prove having made a formal demand for the exact amount of rent owed, either in writing or verbally, at least 3 days before starting a court action against you, so you will have time to pay up if necessary. Late fees are unenforcible, even if mentioned in your lease according to housing lawyers we have consulted with--as long as you have your rent ready to pay immediately if ordered to on losing in court. Then send your check or money order by certified mail and keep the receipt as proof.. LET HSN KNOW YOU ARE DOING THE RENT SLOWDOWN.

To extend the slowdown into a strike, cite violations that undoubtedly exist in your builiding. Demand an inspection. This can be done as a defense in any future nonpayment action by you r landlord, or as an adjunct to an HP action you can iniciate against your landlord. After June 15, you may not have these rights any more. USE THEM OR LOSE THEM!

WHY HTHIS CAN WORK-- Rent resistance makes more sense than merely relying on lobbying politicians, and in fact it strengthens lobbying efforts. It makes these efforts materially real. It is called playing hardball.

Without the pressure that a rent revolt might actually shake up
all the injustice of the entire system of housing for profit, it is very unlikely that many Republicans will strongly defy their Senate leader Joe Brubo and indepently pass a rent regulation renewal in the Senate. The fear that without rent regulation, there may be no rent at all may remind these idiots as to why rent regulations exist in the first place--to keep the rent flowing!

The rent we pay monthly adds up to billions of dollars and is the basis for much investment capital used by the banks. They get it turn, from mortgage payments and rent deposits. If even a small fraction of this money is late each month, millions of dollars in interest would be lost and there would be a ripple throughout the international financial system. Then the banks, which have CLOUT, would be pressuring the politicians not to mess with tenants.

Please reply to or Housing Solidarity Committee (212) 713-5743.

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