The article below more or less spells out all the underhanded tactics that landlords may use to expel low rent tenants to be replaced with high paying ones:
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*Questions of Rent Tactics by Private Equity *

*By: Gretchen Morgenson*
*NYTimes.com |* May 9, 2008
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Few of us have not had friends engaged in such battles or have had to fight them out themselves.

I have been in a small way on both sides of the landlord/tenant divide. Upon the deaths of my parents we inherited a lovely small two family house in the North East Kingdom of Vermont. At the urging of a lady who had been caring for my mother in a nearby nursing home we rented out one side to her and let the elderly lady remain on the other. This all occurred about 30 years ago and the rents have remained the same — below cost to us for keeping the house going. This past year two older ladies have had hard going and virtually no rent has been coming in.

I guess in our minds we wish we had sold the house way back when and had not had the expenses and some very difficult tenants since, but at the moment we are trying to keep things going for some deserving people.

When we were renters back when, we had pretty good breaks. On several transitionary occasions we were able to live in friends homes while we found a good rental. Public Housing became an option when we were grad students and we learned much from our neighbors and community (lower West Harlem) and could pay beck a bit. We lobbied the management to put locks on the entrances which kept out the druggies shooting up in our stairwells. And we got the emergency elevator repair number which kept us from walking up and down 21 flights weekends when they would inevitably both break down when no staff were around.

Our most amusing ‘eviction’ came when we were living in a basement apartment in Oxford. I was called up by the elderly couple renting to us and told to “get that American woman out of here!” I explained that the women was my new wife and even got our wedding certificate to prove it, but they looked at it and said they didn’t see the Queen’s seal, so that was that. Happily we got to move to 11 St. Michael’s St. next to the famous Oxford Union where major political figures had fine tuned their debating skills as undergrads.

Our return to NYC came with the greatest good fortune. We moved into a classic Riverside Drive building which in a few years converted to a coop at a very low price, so we have ever since had safe and secure living with a view of Riverside Park and the Hudson River where we have raised our 3 children.

We have been most fortunate to experience such a range of homes and none of the horror battles that are once again besetting people simply trying to get by with their lives. Some of our institutions as well as landlords are doing their best to uproot people with promises of “affordable housing” — a fraudulent promise I expect of the kind that greed promotes.

“A war is just if there is no alternative, and the resort to arms is legitimate if they represent your last hope.” (Livy cited by Machiavelli)

Ed Kent 212-665-8535 (voice mail only) [blind copies]
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