GENTRIFICATION! Remember That??!!! But Now That Coronavirus Is Here, There Are Calls For Rent Strikes, Seriously??!!

Calls for rent strikes so that you won’t end up walking around like this poor woman in the next picture, is that it? What’s ‘good’ for her is ‘good’ for you!

Remember when the word, “GENTRIFICATION!” reared its gentryfying head, and we ALL know who gentrification impacted; American descendants of slavery, but now since millions of Americans are on lockdown thanks to the coronavirus pandemic, there are calls from people from damn near every income group to cease and desist with paying rent. There are calls to stand in solidarity thanks to coronavirus putting millions of Americans out-of-work and thus rendering them unable to come up with the rent. Heaven forbid, anyone other than American descendants of slavery be forced into homelessness.

And so, once again, what we have here is a “When they came for the Black folks, I did not speak up because I’m not Black, but now that they’ve come for my ass, SOLIDARITY RENT STRIKES EVERYONE!,” scenario? Really??!! Y’all want to go there?! Now that you can’t pay YOUR rent, we are all to sit together for our kumbaya moment and not pay rent? You see, you can do the shit when it impacts you on a personal level, but when it’s just impacting THOSE people over there,’s the problem? The problem, as you can clearly see, is that what comes around, goes around and now that the shit is hitting the fan in a big ass way for those who are not just American descendants of slavery, but for millions of OTHER Americans, it is now time to band together against unfair landlords who still expect their rent during a time of extreme crisis. Never mind the fact that Black people have been experiencing a crisis long before coronavirus reared its viral head and no one called for “SOLIDARITY AGAINST GENTRIFICATION!” No one said how UNFAIR it was for white landlords to displace millions of American descendants of slavery so that upper crust whites could come in and take over where poor Black folks used to live. That shit was allowed to ramp up and in spades, hence why mass homelessness of American descendants of slavery escalated into an epidemic.

Millions of American descendants of slavery are already homeless and I don’t even know where many of them have gone because since entire states are on lockdown, what the hell does that mean for the homeless? Homeless shelters have been putting people out due to the fact that multiple people residing in close quarters is a breeding ground for coronavirus. In Las Vegas, the homeless are being moved to a parking lot since yet another homeless shelter closed.

Las Vegas parking lot turned into ‘homeless shelter’ with social distancing markers

Images of homeless people sleeping in a converted parking lot in Las Vegas have sparked criticism, even as the city officials describe an “emergency situation” and say the solution was the best option after another shelter was forced to close amid the coronavirus crisis.

But now that coronavirus is causing tens of millions of Americans of all stripes to file for unemployment, including the self-employed; business owners, we must all act as one. We must strike back at the landlords who are being totally unreasonable in expecting people to pay their rent during a pandemic when millions are on lockdown. How is that your fault, right? How was it the fault of those Black people who were put out of their homes thanks to rising rents that they could not afford? Where was the solidarity with them in their hour of need? But now that the shit ain’t looking so good for millions and seeing as how there is no end in sight, it is now time for a movement to gather steam against really, really bad, unreasonable landlords who also have mortgages and bills to pay. They must find another way to pay those bills while you don’t pay the landlord. The rallying cry is, “Well, the non-essential courts are closed and so they cannot take you to court anyway.” Okay, but when the shit is back up and running, you know that out on the street you go, right, and you don’t want to have to sit next to THOSE people whom you simply ignored when they were and still are going through THEIR crisis. It ain’t so fun to deal with that kind of shit now, is it? You never thought that you’d be facing eviction because you’re not one of THOSE people. Well, you’re facing it now and you’re scared senseless. You’re banding together because you’re terrified to face this alone. You need all the support that you can get because there’s no way in hell that you’ve got the gonads to go it alone and attempt to fight a landlord to let you stay in your home without paying rent. Safety in numbers, right? Well ain’t you just the scared shitless shit?!! Never mind the fact that you can still remember THOSE people holding up cardboard signs asking for spare change as you tried hard to ignore them as you made your way inside Starbucks to get your caffeine fix and then to your job you went; that job that no longer exists because the doors are closed and may never open again. So now, it’s RENT STRIKE TIME!

You shameless shits are something else. Even your signs to display your solidarity in rent strikes are white. Yep, if you’re in with this rent strike movement, hang a white sheet outside to show your solidarity in us all being in this rent strike thing together, eh? Where were the white sheets when the Black folks were being pushed into homelessness? Where were the letters to landlords telling them that the shit they were about to do was wrong? Where were the cries to cease and desist with gentrification? There were none, hence why there is such an epidemic of Black homelessness in this hellhole. But now the cries for landlords to cease and desist with evictions is deafening. Even restaurant owners are having to close up shop and file for unemployment. I saw a white man on the local news talking about how hard it’s been for him to try to speak to anyone to receive unemployment benefits because he cannot simply fill out an online form because of his special circumstances of being self employed and not having had a salary. Oh the moaning and wailing, I can just imagine that’s going on now. Not to mention the cops are stating that the majority of calls they get are for domestic violence. Can’t pay the rent, can’t entertain the kiddies, can’t go out, the shit is getting real and now that you’re finally woke because you’ve got no goddamn choice, it is time to ACT. So a rent strike, it is. Yeah! Good luck with that because the same hard hearted assholes that saw nothing wrong in putting American descendants of slavery out of their homes are what you are up against. Do you seriously think that they are going to treat your broke asses any better than they treated those who look like me? Yeah! Get back to me on that, why doncha! And by all means, continue to look to your lord and savior, racist-in-chief Donald Trump for some help and your asses will indeed, find yourselves making use of that sheet to lie on at a parking lot in Las Vegas or wherever the hell else the homeless are being allowed to make use of during this crisis. You will never understand that “What comes around, goes around.” Karma is a bitch, ain’t she!

Playing ‘Devil’s Advocate’

No, this one is not about the ‘devil’. This is about who gets the most benefit from security deposits or some would say, ‘damage deposits’. I am going to attempt to explain what I think and why.

First of all, I have been both a landlord and a tenant, not necessarily in that order. As a tenant, I kept the landlord’s property in great condition. I called the landlord whenever there was a leak or at the first sign of a problem so that a little problem would not become a big problem. I never made any changes to the property unless I had received permission from the landlord.

I shall start with Apartment No. 1. It was a second floor walk-up. The doorbell did not work. I told the landlord about that, it was fixed in two days. Three weeks later, water was leaking from an upstairs apartment into my hallway. I notified the landlord about that. Three days later, the maintenance man was dispatched. He told me that what was leaking onto my hall floor was the man’s toilet water from upstairs. I thought, “oh my gosh, how gross and unsanitary!” A couple of weeks later, I came in late, turned the light on and there were four mice on the kitchen counter. I promptly jumped up on the sofa, screaming while my date was yelling at the mice. That was it for me. I called the landlord the next day and told him that I had had more than enough. He said that he understood and would let me out of my lease early but that he would be keeping my security deposit. Okay, I thought, “fair exchange.” I then went to a realty company and was shown a great apartment, again on the second floor, more expensive than the first one and in better condition. I signed the lease and moved in. The gas was not turned on, but that was all right by me because I don’t/can’t cook. I called the gas company and they finally came out and turned the gas on. A week and a half later, I come home from work and the ceiling from the upstairs apartment is lying on my bedroom floor. I moved from that apartment and of course, my security deposit was kept. The next apartment, there was a roof leak, 5 times. The property manager told me to stand in my bedroom with an umbrella up. When I moved out at the end of my lease after having given proper notice, I received $325.00. My security deposit had been $775.00. The only damage to the apartment was from the 5 leaks. I was made to pay for that and by taking it to court is how I got the rest of my security deposit. Landlords try their damndest to keep security deposits knowing all the while that they are not entitled to them, but they think they can get away with doing this all the same.

Now, for the landlord side of the equation. I rented my starter home to a couple and when I went to pick up the rent(I did not go in without their permission as that is how they wanted the rent payments made), they did not have it. I heard a sob story and gave them time to get it together. I went back two weeks later and they had only a portion of the rent ready. At that time, I noticed holes in the wall and inquired about them and was told that they were installing a train that would go all around the house by attaching the tracks to boards on the wall. Oh, no, that was not going to happen. They did it anyway. They tore the house up so bad, it was condemned. Of course, many people would think that I should have been pissed, but I was not and the reason why is because it was MY choice to rent instead of just outright selling the house. Yes, I calculated and took a loss. Now, with that being said, every tenant is not going to be the tenant from hell and every landlord is not going to keep their property up. And I very well understand that issues occur, however, who decides when enough is enough? In my opinion, the one who is dealing with the never ending issues should be the one who decides that ‘enough is enough’, go to court, take evidence of the issues and hopefully be allowed to move and receive their security deposit back.

What is happening is that many landlords and management companies are basically keeping security deposits that they have no right to keep. They are getting away with this because they hold the upper hand. Yes, tenants have rights, but not as many as people think. Not to forget that many landlords include in their lease, rules that are not enforceable because they are not legal and the tenants don’t know this.

When you first rent an apartment or a house, do a walkthrough with the landlord or property manager and make a list of all the things that are wrong. I would recommend bringing something to plug into an outlet to make sure they are working. Check the ceilings for water damage, check undeneath the sinks for signs of leaks. Turn on the burners of the stove, not forgetting the oven. Check for a smoke detector and see if it is working. Go over the place with a fine tooth comb because once you sign, anything that is not in good working condition, most likely will remain that way. Landlords promise you that they will fix this and fix that, but once that dotted line is signed, many tenants have heard, “when I can get around to it.” You see, landlords know that tenants have to work and many cannot take time off to go to court.

For those who choose to be landlords, remember…that is exactly what it is, a choice. If you want to complain about tenants wrecking the place or leaving without paying their rent, that is because YOU chose to rent your house or apartment as opposed to selling it. Background checks are all very well and good, but they don’t always tell the whole story. So, when you start bashing ALL tenants, remember that ALL tenants are not the same and you did have a choice. Just as ALL landlords are not the same. The problem is that there are a great number of ‘slumlords’ out there who have wrongfully kept tenants security deposits and have gotten away with it. I would advise any tenant who believes that their security deposit has been wrongfully withheld from them to contact a tenant advocacy agency or the housing court in your area. In some instances, filing fees can be waived. Do not just accept the landlord’s statement that he/she is entitled to your full security/damage deposit due to trumped up damages. Take them to court!