Landlord wants to increase the rent on his tenants: they "take their revenge" by buying the whole building

by Mark Bennett

June 14, 2022

Landlord wants to increase the rent on his tenants: they "take their revenge" by buying the whole building

Nowadays, it is more and more difficult to be able to afford to pay a rent and it is even more difficult to be able to buy a house. The real estate market, with its ups and downs, allows increasingly greedy individuals to monetize and make profits on the backs of those who can barely make it to the end of the month. This is why some tenants of a building in the Bronx (USA), who risked having to leave their homes due to a sudden increase in the monthly rent payment by the owner, decided to join forces and push back against the crisis. Together, they not only managed to keep their own apartments, but they even managed to buy the building.

via Facebook / The New York Times


When a new landlord bought their building in the Bronx and threatened to raise rents and kick them out, tenants banded...

Pubblicato da The New York Times su Venerdì 6 maggio 2022

James Giddings bought the 21-unit building in the Port Morris neighborhood of the Bronx about five years ago for a staggering $ 4 million dollars. Of course, the apartments were all rented out and, after a few years, the man did not miss out on the opportunity to make a quick profit by increasing the price of the monthly rental payments. He warned the residents, and he told them the increase was going to be between $ 400 and $ 1000 dollars - not an insignificant amount. Bear in mind that the residents already paid high rents - approximately $ 1,100 dollars per month for a studio apartment.

Tenant Kevin Stone succinctly described the situation he and the others in the building found themselves in: "We all knew it was a situation in which we would either sink or swim. Either we would come together as a group and act, or we would be homeless".

Many of the residents were struggling to pay their existing rent bills, but the owner of the building, Giddings, stated he was spending far more than he was making on the apartments.


NWBCCC Tenant leader, Linda Peterson, asks candidates if they support the Tenant Opportunity to Purchase Act, allowing residents to have the right to collectively own their building.

Pubblicato da Northwest Bronx Community & Clergy Coalition su Mercoledì 25 maggio 2022

Forming a common front, the tenants inquired about the various possibilities of buying the property and they found an old city program created in the 1980s that allowed residents to buy buildings offered for sale. They could do this through the creation of a cooperative that it would be eligable for municipal funding.

Although Giddings had bought the building for $ 4 million dollars, once he realized he had more expenses than real profit, he decided to go along with the cooperative's request to sell the property to the cooperative (i.e. his tenants), for a much lower price. Eventually, the building was sold to the cooperative for $ 2.6 million and each tenant, in turn, was able to buy their own apartment for just $ 2,500.

For the residents, it was an incredible victory: now they can live without having to pay rent, and only have to cover the maintenance costs. Not to mention that each of them may very well decide to resell their apartments in the future.

It is definitely true that unity is strength!