LETTER: Support Malden Tenants United, Tenant Organizing

Howard McGowen is a member of Malden/Medford Tenants United: maldentenentsunited@gmail.com

In order to protect Malden against "Slum Landlords" - those prove "by their track record" to be lax in maintenance of proprieties - it is time for the councillors to pay attention to the needs of citizens and to take action needed to protect their safety and quality of life. They should become aware and pay attention to the situations in their wards and citywide.

I ask John Matheson Ward #3 Councillor and Jim Nestor Ward #4 to and support the efforts of the tenants in their areas to organize against increasing rent.

A tenant association (or tenant organization) may be made up oftenants who live in a certain building or development, or membership may be on a larger scale -- i.e. renters in a city who belong to acounty or citywide local tenants' association. These groups are formed and maintained with a number of goals in mind, including:

  • Informing tenants of their rights under local, state, and federal law.
  • Organizing and lobbying on behalf of tenants and tenants' rights,especially at city and county levels of government.Improving tenant-landlord relationships, building conditions
  • Securing services for tenants under a "strength in numbers" model.
  • Encouraging regular communication and community awareness among tenants.


Tenant Associations: The Right to Organize

Tenant associations usually hold periodic meetings in order to encourage active tenant participation and to promote tenants' awareness of the association's role and available services. Just as most employers are prohibited from discriminating or retaliating against employees who have joined a labor union, federal and state fair housing laws dictate that landlords cannot take any negative action based solely on a tenants' participation or membership in a tenant association or similar organization.

Examples of prohibited landlord conduct include arbitrary rent increases, refusal to make necessary repairs and threats of eviction. 

In addition, a landlord may not prevent a tenant association from meeting in a common area on the building's premises if other groups are allowed to do so, as long as the circumstances of the meeting (i.e. time, place, noise level) are reasonable.

Getting Involved

If you are a tenant in a large residential building or development, or if you rent your home in a mid- to large-size city, you may have the opportunity to get involved in a tenant association or organization.

To find out more, contact your city's housing department.

 SUPPORT THE MALDEN/MEDORD TENANTS UNITED: maldentenantsunited@gmall.com

Readers: What do you think about tenant organizing?

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

Don June 15, 2012 at 01:32 PM
I don't work for Alpha. No way. I was there when those Occupy people tried to keep the Bruins fans from the game. It costs a lot of money to go to those games and to have some bums like that try to keep hard working people from enjoyment. Well, mother nature takes care of itself, because Bs fans are a fight looking for the hockey game. What happened that night was that all the South Boston Bs fans went crazy and the Boston police had to save the Occupy fools. True, the Bs fans didn't get rid of them, but would have that night. Sorry for the slight inaccuracy. I guess the item for discussion is rent control, subsidized housing, ect. Is that the American way? I won't comment on that anymore, I surely don't want to help those who are imposing higher rents like Alpha. That is not right, but in America all try to make as much money as possible. How do we change that without giving up the right to develop property?
david mokal June 15, 2012 at 07:46 PM
How do you go from bad tennents good tenents to an occupy post how did we get here? Another P'in Contest..haaaaaaaaaa,,,,
david mokal June 15, 2012 at 07:53 PM
Mark Levine how are you saying harsh words?? Im just commenting that Lanlords should have there union too. How would you like to have kids a young family the all American Dream with a $2000 + Motgage and have a tennent go bad on ya. Ley me see a hole inb the screen I dont think Ill pay the rent excuse. Ive sat in on cases where a young couple had to forfeit 6 mos rent and another month free ride cause they could not get to it because of the high cost of matierials at the time and the tennent was the one who broke it anyway. Ive seen young couples walk out crying because they got behind. Walk in there shoes before you make silly statements.
Diana June 15, 2012 at 10:21 PM
Um... did you try fixing the screen? That's your job, after all. As for that poor young couple who had to forgo rent because they couldn't properly maintain the property, tough. Your tenant doesn't want to hear about your financial woes any more than you want to hear about theirs.
david mokal June 16, 2012 at 12:31 AM
Diana Its just an example. I had four wonderfull tennents we were actually good freinds and they all bought homes except from one tennent from hell and thats all it took. I was always 200-300 less than anyone else and my books were open.Ive sat in court to educate myself and some of the excuses were so stupid. I would hear about my good tenents woes and worked with them like Ol School. If they were going to be late it was a just tell me ahead of time. No Problem. But you see thats Ol school Lanlord Tennent relationships. Sit in court for a day and listen and learn what goes on. On my Police Scanner all you here is lanlord tenent disputes and it comes to even fist fighting. wasnt my screen just an example of how some tennents can tie their rent up over bogus excuses sending you into a tailspin. Your Post is well taken thank you.
Diana June 16, 2012 at 01:28 AM
See, I disagree that a broken screen is a bogus excuse, and it's a terrible example. It means that the tenant can't open that window, and it's a pretty cheap and easy fix, so any landlord that won't fix it deserves to have the rent withheld. Personally it's not the route I'd go, I'd replace it and deduct it from the rent, but then I have an "old school" relationship with my landlord. I'd like to point out that the article you're commenting on illustrates the very opposite of an "old school" landlord/tenant relationship, and yet you're projecting one bad experience onto it and blaming the tenants. Sometimes you've got to consider a situation from outside of your own narrow life experience, or you wind up sounding like Don, and nobody wants that.
Marc Levine June 16, 2012 at 06:02 AM
David....I am a landlord of a 3 family. I worship the ground my tenants walk on. I brush the snow off of their car, shovel "their" driveway, birthday presents, Whatever my tenants need they get I even change light bulbs if they ask me. One tenant I have their tile floor professionally cleaned once a year. This is a whole different ballgame here. Alpha is a multi-million dollar company. They have a horrible reputation as a landlord. They mortgaged the hell out of these buildings and expect their tenants to pick up the slack. As I said, I know the rents are below market value but jeez don't be so damn greedy and look for such big increases. They did not get so big by being so nice. Brand new tenant moved in and Alpha did not remove the mold in bathroom totally and just painted over it. I advised the new tenant if they don't fix it after you notify them the proper (legal way) REPAIR AND DEDUCT!!!!!!
howard mcgowan July 04, 2012 at 05:59 PM
Instead of simple negotiations, Alpha our new Owners (land lord) Reptesentative tries to intimidate through Evictions Notices. We are not intiminated, We remain determined MA;LDEN/MEDFORD TENANTS UNITED formed to fight unreasonable rent increases..From the very beginning we made it clear we were willing to pay some rent increase.WE made a concrete proposal. Under our proposal Alpha Would make a profit! WE WOULD BE ABLE TO STAY IN OUR HOMES. Alpha refuses to negotiate. Instead the are sending eviction notices in an attempt to break our determination However me remain determined and confident maldenttenantsunited@gmail.com 617 286 4397
Marc Levine July 04, 2012 at 11:09 PM
Breaking news saw a realtor enter an apartment today without the tenants consent. They must be away for the weekend. Wish I had called the police.
howard mcgowan July 05, 2012 at 02:41 AM
They have been moving activity at 349 and the showing of apartments by Alpha Representatives, MANY OF THE APARTMENTS rented out are not inspected as required by Malden ordinance. WAITING FOR Board of Health to take action
Marc Levine July 05, 2012 at 07:35 AM
This apartment was not even vacated. Person still living there, just not home. I called there off hours numbers to find out why a realtor would not call the tenant first before entering. Alpha "said" they have no knowledge or any realtors entering any apartments. They also said anybody sending in their old rent rate is scheduled to be evicted. Jeez what a tangled web. If I maxed out my mortgage I would be looking for as much as I could get from these tenants too. They claim market rent for a studio is between $900.00 and $1000.00 a month.
R.P. July 05, 2012 at 11:39 AM
http://boston.craigslist.org/search/aap?query=malden+%2Bstudio+-washington+&srchType=A&minAsk=&maxAsk=&bedrooms= (removed Washington St. b/c those looked like primarily Alpha units)
Marc Levine July 05, 2012 at 02:23 PM
Should of left the Washington St apts in for the viewing. I don't know if you are the man I spoke to last night. My major gripe was somebody entering an apartment unlawfully. I believe while they are suppose to give a tenant give 24 to 48 hours notice. to enter, Which they did not. I had your defended alpha when they said they were changing locks so they would have a master key for maintenance reasons but what happened yesterday (realtor entering an apartment w/o tenants consent (or even a phone call telling the tenant) makes me think otherwise. You get more flies with honey then vinegar. Also heard the option in one of your leases that give you the right to raise the rent during the lease period. Oh yeah that's acting in good faith. I'm no pro but....
Marc Levine July 05, 2012 at 02:25 PM
even more for a unit with 2 people residing there
Don July 05, 2012 at 04:19 PM
Did they happen to find any illegal activity going on, drugs/prostitution/b&e's??? I would be shocked if it didn't happen.
Chris Caesar July 05, 2012 at 04:50 PM
david mokal July 05, 2012 at 06:37 PM
Theres a program on the telvision cable "Tenents From Hell" very entertaining..
david mokal July 05, 2012 at 06:44 PM
Anyone remember the Old Suffolk Square?? Now that was slum lanlords! When they were going to Urban Renew there was a house fire every week. Was like a Buy It...Insure It...and Burn It.. Allways good to look back in history you can find some things that make ya go HMM.
Don July 06, 2012 at 12:00 PM
That is Malden, Tenents from Hell. All this socialism has done is create a bigger problem now. Where do these people go, to the street? Will crime go up? Well, if we are going to go this way, lets demolish the several projects in town, give the land to a positive developer and build housing where only good hard workers can afford. The trash will clear out of Malden in about 2 years, then we can move forward. Kind of hard to undo 125+ years of people sponging off the Govt, but increase the price is a definite way.
Chris Caesar July 06, 2012 at 12:09 PM
What does that have to do with anything?
DannyBoy July 06, 2012 at 02:15 PM
You are way off the mark, Don. Socialism? Really? Do you know what you are talking about? This is a case of a PRIVATE landlord who's raising the rents in an unreasonable manner on a multi-unit property he just bought, and the tenants who are trying to stand up for their right to not have their lives disrupted and affected in such a negative way. Public housing comes nowhere into this picture, if what "socialism" is what you are referring to.
Liz July 06, 2012 at 03:14 PM
I think everyone needs to just start ignoring pretty much anything Don has to say. He obviously will bash Malden anytime he can just to see what kind of rise he can get out of people. If you ever look at his previous posts, he posts in Reading, Lynnfield and other towns. I do not believe he actually even lives in Malden at the moment according to his posts in other towns, He may have grown up in Malden but he obviously has no clue about Malden today. Just try to ignore him, he's not worth a response.
Don July 06, 2012 at 05:09 PM
I proposed the quick, painless approach to cleaning up Malden. We can either raise the rent for all those in the projects and these lower class building and drive them out slowy/painfully or we could demolish all the bad, rundown buildings quickly, get good paying tenants in and they will spend. Malden will flourish. Face it folks, it is going to happen whether you like it or not. Lots of money to be made and believe me, this kind of trash is not going to stop the greedy from making it. Trying ingoring that.
DannyBoy July 06, 2012 at 05:23 PM
Don, if the aim of this new landlord is to drive out the existing tenants in order to convert the units into "luxury rentals", then he is most likely heading that way. But from what I hear and read about this apartment building, the units inside are not in any adequate shape to be labeled "luxury rentals". If the new owner does not renovate all the units in a significant way (I'm not talking simple paint job here) and still charges these exorbitant prices for rent, then I would say that he is making a foolish business decision and will pay a dear price, as he will not find any new tenants to live in them. Good luck to him then.
Marc Levine July 21, 2012 at 03:51 PM
Just dropped off a friend who lives at 17 Washington St. Workers have their head buried in the bushes (working very hard I must say) and that have the locked security door ties off so it's wide open.
howard mcgowan July 21, 2012 at 04:49 PM
MARK AND OTHERS (LAST POST)This is not the only thing going on they are committing many illegal activiities going on the intimindate, harrass and bother tenants with wholesale eviction notices towing of cars to mention a few. It has come dow in court that they do not have a good case for raising rent to what they call "Market rate" for Malden. They have a sub par product having trouble meeting the building code. Now is the time for the City Administration to step up and enforce the laws. I think that the Hillide Urban Properities IncLLC is up for a lawsuit to enforce adhering to the law.
Reality Stinks August 18, 2012 at 04:51 PM
People are missing the point here you are tenant at will- this means for any reason the landlord can ask you to leave with 30 day notice under mass law and tenant can do the same. I have seen these units and I know of the prices both old and new. Don't be fooled many people will be tripping over themselves to live walking distance to the train for these prices. The majority of the current tenants of these buildings are not low income they make a good to excellent income, I don't feel bad that they now have to pay fair market rent. Yet they simply do not want to pay more for their housing expenses and they are willing to protest. I don't care If your landlord owns a two family or is a corporation you have no right jeopardize their financial success because you don't believe your rent increase was un-just. Free trade, we live in America like it or not. These units are small and will never be luxury however their value lies in the location. Every other property surrounding is collecting higher rents even properties in conditions sub par do collect higher rent. If you think not you have not look at the rental market lately. Right now it is a Landlord market not a renters market all these units will be rented quickly don't be foolish if you have a good place keep it sign a lease lock in your price now then you will have lease protection if you think you can get a better place do so move on. (No I don't work for the landlord I am a well informed and intelligent citizen)
howard mcgowan August 18, 2012 at 05:26 PM
Great speech Now comment on Habitabilty responsibility of the Landlord. PLUS the State Sanitary Code violations un acceptable and really criminal that that can/and maybe cited by the board of Health or the Tenants. We respect the right of the landlord but lets see the rights of the Tenants(the customer) are considered and respected. Greed is the name of the game not a good profit for the product offered By the landlords count (Malden Observer) 70 of 266 vacant apartments as of August No rush to rent at the asking price?
DannyBoy August 18, 2012 at 06:03 PM
Reality Stinks: since you claim to be a "well informed and intelligent citizen", you must have searched on Google, using the keywords "Anwar Faisal Alpha Management" and come across facts that describe this new owner and his RE management company as the poster boy for slumlords everywhere. I'm curious that you don't even mention that anywhere in your comment, or is that omission intentional? You have no credibility.
Marc Levine August 19, 2012 at 02:33 AM
Has anybody seen the ugly looking "BILLBOARD" Alpha has put up in the front of 17-19 Washington St. That is the most disgusting sign (awning) I have ever seen in my life. Kind of a wolf marking his territory. As I said Alpha IS entitled to "SOME" kind of increase but if enough to cover his HUGE mortgage payment. He probably mortgaged the place to the max based on his proposed increases. From what I hear people are giving in and paying the increases. If you are now paying market rent, get your monies worth. New kitchens, new bathrooms and windows, dishwasher, workout room. Get the point!!! You are going to pay full market price demand full market services. Any replies for Alpha's defense....bring it on!!!!!!


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