Let’s Lynch The Landlord!

My column for the S.F. Examiner this week is about unscrupulous landlords…

It’s not a good time to be a landlord…

In January, the state of California passed Senate Bill 91, the Tenant Relief Act, to help renters and landlords financially impacted by the pandemic. Besides extending the eviction moratorium, the bill also devotes $2.6 billion to reimburse property owners for unpaid rent.

Even though most landlords will benefit from the bill by getting 80 percent of money they might otherwise never see, according to Apartment Owners Association News, a trade publication that showed up in my mailbox addressed to a previous occupant or current resident, the AOA is opposed to SB-91 because it challenges a cornerstone of their industry: controlling tenants.

Rent is a form of blackmail, a quasi-protection racket that ensures you pay your landlord a tribute each month in exchange for shelter, i.e., protection from homelessness. Within this system, there is a major imbalance of power between the tenant and the unscrupulous landlord, since the latter has the control. The only way for the tenant to resist this disparity is to not pay rent. But then you’ll end up homeless.

No matter what, a landlord is gonna landlord.

Read the rest here.

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