281 Crown TA, part of the Hager Tenant Council, BED Tenant Union Local #42, has been investigating massive overcharges in their rent stabilized units. We had an inspiring rent history/overcharge workshop last month; the super came into the lobby, picked up some of the materials we distributed, and left. The next day, the landlord independently called two of the most active tenants and told them management “accidentally” overcharged them and they just happened to notice now.

When the tenants said they wouldn’t be able to come into the office, management sent them checks and letters explaining the amount they have been overcharged. One tenant was sent $10,000!

while this was likely meant to deter further actions by placating some tenants, the TA recognized this for what it is: further evidence that we’re on the right track! The TA is going to be commencing rent strike on May Day to fight for all the tenants in the building: the overcharges newer tenants are facing and the degraded conditions the longer term tenants face!

When we recognize that the specific struggles we face individually are different faces of the same cycles of dispossession, we can fight together. And as we’ve said — as we’ll keep saying — when we fight, we win!