Friday’s Predicament: I am being evicted Day 5

Source of image: Google

So I am one of those caught up in the eviction process.
Essentially, I was evicted because I refused to be gouged by the Property Management Company, UDR, after my lease expired during the lockdown last year. I did not want to renew my lease because the apartment has mold, and it’s considered a “luxury” apartment.

My youngest negotiated an agreement with them last November. They wanted me to complete a RAFT (Residential Assistance for Families in Transition), a program set up to help renters during Covid. If I filled out that form and renewed the lease, they would waive the tenant-at-will charges and interests. I fulfilled my end of the deal; however, they did not inform me until I got an eviction notice.

Before I decided not to pay, I called around seeking advice. The advice was not to pay it because the Governor would fix it. He didn’t, and now people like me are being evicted. According to my attorney, these cases are making their way through Massachusetts Housing courts in isolation. There is no precedent, so judges are going with the property companies in some cases.

This morning I have a meeting with Representative Tram to shine a light on the problem. Thus far, the Commonwealth has systems set up so the law ties the hands of those who can help. I don’t need legal help, which the legislature cannot provide. I want to inform them of the business practices of one property management company, UDR, during the lockdown for a pandemic.

Wish me luck!

Call to action:

  1. Please like, comment and SHARE. 
  2.  Let UDR know their business practices harm. Their corporate address is: UDR, 1745 Shea Center Dr, Unit 200, Highlands Ranch, CO 80129, United States; Phone: +1 720 283 6120
  3. Contact the office of Attorney General Maura Healey to investigate UDR’s business practice in which they sought to exploit renters for the RAFT aid.   I can provide details about my case.   Her email: ago@state.ma.us        
  4. Contact the legislature to re-iterate the law so the courts understand these were extraordinary circumstances in which UDR sought to exploit their renters. I think they can put pressure on the AG to investigate.  Representative Tram T. Nguyen Democrat – 18th Essex tram.nguyen@mahouse.gov.  For all media inquiries or constituent services, please contact –  tobin.abraham@mahouse.govSTATE SENATOR BARRY FINEGOLD24 BEACON ST ROOM 511-A BOSTON, MA 02133

    (617) 722-1612 BARRY.FINEGOLD@MASENATE.GOV

Author

  • Angela Grant is a medical doctor. For 22 years, she practiced emergency medicine and internal medicine. She studied for one year at Harvard T. H Chan School Of Public Health. She writes about culture, race, and health.

26 thoughts on “Friday’s Predicament: I am being evicted Day 5

  1. Dear Angela, I’m probably too-far geographically removed for any “share” to be efffective. Would it just make things worse for you, or would you consider sending to this list the address of UDR so that I/we can (as the very least possible “help”) tell it that you have made folk like me aware of your predicament and petition it (one-person petition, one by one) to treat you with compassion and a positive outcome? Would I/we need at-least minimal information such as your lease/contract number, the years of your good-tenant residence….? Could/should I/we send an info copy to Rep. Tram and/or a responsible-govt-agency POC asking for intervention and assistance to you?

    I care and would like to support you in my manini (Hawaiian for “small/minor/probably inconsequential”) way….

    (I don’t know how this all might play out in the process of your intention to move to Texas…but at least some “temporary” relief for you pending that move?)

    1. Hi Bob! It’s people like you that restore my faith in humanity. Thank you! Let me think about what you suggested.

      I am not at risk of being thrown out soon, but I felt anxious staying with an eviction hanging over my head. Housing in MA is so discriminatory. I did not relish the thought of looking, so I took the easy route for me emotionally. There is a limit to the amount of rejection I can take.

    2. Hi Bob, I appreciate your wanting to help. I thought about it and think it’s a great idea. Their corporate address is 1745 Shea Center Dr, Unit 200, Highlands Ranch, CO 80129, United States. They are a big company. I would think their reputation in the real estate market would be important.
      I moved into the apartment complex in June of 2019. My lease expired during the lockdown in June 2020.
      Sending letters to AG’s office to investigate them might also help. TY

      1. Dear Angela, am I losing track of the thread here?–my attention span flagging? If you haven’t done so, I think you need to advise me of your exact “apartment complex” address so that UDR can (needfully/understandably) identify you and, hopefully, do a/the right thing by you. Also, although I can perhaps look up the MA AG’s office address, can you provide it by the relevant website?

        (In the meantime, of course, if you accomplish your “big move” to Texas, any action may be pointless…again, am I losing some time context or other data needed to pursue this/my attempt/my intention to intervene and get some attention paid direct to you as an individual, needful human being?)

        1. Bob, I updated the post to provide the contact information you requested above. This kind of activism is new to me. Your efforts might not help me or change my circumstances, but they could help others caught in this nightmare who don’t have a voice. It certainly might spur the AG’s office to investigate UDR.

          I didn’t want to stay in the apartment, but I didn’t want to leave Massachusetts. However, after Deanna’s comments, I am not so sure I want to stay in Massachusetts. I don’t have many opportunities here to use my knowledge. Sometimes, I believe I was blacklisted, and there is some entity intent on making my life difficult.

          1. Well, don’t let me depress you. While I can’t sing MA praises. I can say the things progressed on some level with housing when I produced doctors notes to support the conditions I couldn’t tolerate to live in…albeit, it was all a fight and some of those doctors weren’t here. If any place, however, is more ripe for someone to lead the charge or at least ruffle the feathers, it’s here….I hardly see a line forming whenever I do it. But, I knew NOTHING about housing or disabled rights …not even the terms, until I came here and was forced to learn. That’s led me to become very well-versed and skilled in a few areas that I’d never otherwise be. I have faith this will open doors one day, because the needs are simply too great. People do a lot of things, but refuse good help is not as likely in crisis. This state has much crisis, I think, in part, because it’s economic system is made to thrive from it. This leaves room for a lot of room to grow up. I think the state will be forced to mature or stop touting itself as a true city. No one is trying to come here to host major events and things, because things are a nightmare down to traffic. The lack of leadership and foresight is becoming more and more evident. MA, especially Boston, seems grandfathered into the Big Leagues…but the city is being owned and operated on behalf of foreign investors and their interests. It will show, it can’t not show…as other cities are legions ahead in their planning and oversight long-term. The medical reputation is no longer compensating for the rest. If it weren’t for schools, they’d be dead bc that’s a large part of what drives the real estate. They will have to begin considering constituents so long as they claim to represent them or risk being taken seriously in the big picture nationally. To me, Boston can’t even be considered as a serious contender for much past real estate…and even that, of course, is rigged….plus easy. This lack of transparency will harm them and in that sense, the commonwealth will be to blame for its own demise. They are running out of room to keep doing things azz backwards. Time to change , grow a set, and put their money where their mouths are. And we know they have the money. So it needs to start talking the language of explaining their bs. Enough with the blame shifting and gaslighting, we deserve results. The days of secret handshakes ended for me with the cool kids table in 5th grade….and it was lame then. City / state officials would do well to follow suit lest they never have a reputation worth a hillabeans of value to anyone else anywhere else. In a national landscape, imho, Boston is already old news and proving to be overrated. It’s easy to be mediocre…it’s lazy for a government with piles of unused resources and only looks like one thing : greed. And, that’s about as progressive as the grade school bully who stole my lunch money. yawns ….lies, d-mn lies, and statistics is all they got on their best day. Change must come, for they’ve paved the roads no other way.

  2. I had a virtual meeting with Representative Tram. She was amazing!
    She understood. The case will be sent to the Attorney General’s office to investigate. Some bad landlords took the RAFT money and still evicted renters. Unfortunately, when that happens, the government does not know unless you tell them. I met with her expressly for that purpose. Let’s see what happens next.

    1. Hooray for Rep. Tram! Please reinforce to her that people, even from afar, admire their elected officials when they are open, responsive, respectful, and (even) just good listeners! She seems to be all of that, and more….

  3. The mold. It’s against the laws of human habitation in Massachusetts. Document. They can’t make you tolerate that bs.

    1. I was told, if it’s in the apartment, it’s my problem. I can smell it if I don’t open the windows daily. I recall leaving a case of water on the carpet for one week and saw mold growing on the carpet underneath the case. Even food in the refrigerator became moldy after a couple of days.

      I called the board of health and various public health departments. I didn’t know there were so many in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. They were unconcerned. MA is deceptive. Each town is replete with its government–housing and health departments, etc. They state lofty missions and goals, and that’s where it ends. There is no action behind the goals. No one came out to investigate my concern.

      1. I hate mold/mildew but have little experience with it beyond a nasty “infection” in one room of my daughter’s/SIL’s home a few years ago in a rainy/damp/continually humid environment. They had to hire a professional business to control/get rid of it. Inside the walls, I recall, it was a nasty piece of work….

        While of course being concerned about unintended consequences (toxicity…), how about the strongest possible/feasible dessicant that could be spread/broadcast here and there to would dry up or suck that mold out of the air and surrounding upholstery/closets et al? A dehumidifier? Haven’t I read that plain ol’ baking soda can be effective in odor control and reduction of mold in (esp.) a refrigerator setting?

      2. Whoever told you that is incorrect. But, this is an area rife with corruption in MA. I have horror tales you would not believe. Safe housing is a human rights issue. And Mayor Janey in her Mass Cass bs just said so and homelessness is a health crisis etc….so hold them to it. I inadvertently discovered why this is a particular area of deep corruption in Boston specifically when researching the lead reports where I am , and found something I almost wished I’d never seen. Look up who owns the unit they are renting to you. It’s required to be posted in the building on certificate of occupancy. Mine wasn’t but yours may be. Further, you can report it to HUD if they take any federal money (they do if anyone there has a voucher in that building) but mold is one area where they can get away with much but you can get a mold test yourself from Home Depot. The fact remains that it’s on the human habitation laws whether they like it or not. If you occupy the unit, an inspection is your legal right as a tenant. MassLegalHelp They cannot make you live in a unit with mold. Period. Plus if you have brain injury you likely have migraines ….another problem. They gonna evict a disabled person to the street with cognitive impairments? A judge must sign off on that for them to do it legally and man, that’s one hard case to make with Mass Cass going on up the street, ijs Tell the woman behind the book MAID. I’m serious. I can’t share as I’m dark on all my social bc my shelter but would if I could for certain. If this address is in Boston, the RR fund may still have dollars left as well. The misappropriation of funds is another issue but either way ….Safe Housing. A human right. I’m in 3 open state investigations due to this problem, so I get it. Don’t budge. Make them throw you out with a judge order. What judge is going to sign off on THAT breach of quiet enjoyment? Seriously ?!

        1. Hi Deanna. You have given me so much to think about, a whole new set of lens to view my predicament. I did call the Board of Health in Boston and was connected to different public health agencies. The result was they could not help me. There was a loophole that prevented them from doing their job—typical Commonwealth of MA. None offered to come out and investigate, and none inquired about my health.

          The lawyer felt it would be a good idea for me to move out. I don’t like it there. I feel unsafe in the building when I get home late–no lights in the hall. For almost a year, the unlocked front door allowed anyone to enter. After informing them of the problem, they locked the front door, but the hall light remained off. It’s been over a year, and it’s eerie and scary.

          Ideally, I would like to find an affordable, spacious apartment, and at the moment, I cannot take the rejections necessary to get there. So I am relocating to Texas for now.

      3. If you ask me….the mold may be why they really want you out…just my opinion. Tell me the city, I’ll call elder services and report it and DPH and the board of health and the gov office and the AG 🙂 and DPPC ….also, you should call BCIL and get an advocate

      4. Also, tell Rep Tram to use FEMA funds and house you properly (if DHCD won’t..) Period. They have em. Money where their mouth is, Other cities do it in less than 24 hours. MA can start BEING progressive and cut the bs. It’s cold outside. Too cold. And you have enough stress.

        1. I don’t seem to qualify for anything in the Commonwealth except meals on wheels. I was offered Elder Services Money Management Program where a volunteer comes to your home and helps you pay the bills and manage your money. For that free service, they wanted my monthly bank statements. According to them, a non-profit with no professional financial planners, The state required it. In addition, it was a way to keep their employees honest and prevent them from taking advantage of elderly clients. Think about that!

          Just them wanting my monthly bank statements to keep in their file outraged me. But if they couldn’t trust their employees, why should I? I attempted to see if that was legal but got nowhere as usual.

          1. Oh I didn’t say elder services or any agency would help…but reporting it to them is still a thing to check off. None may come out and investigate , but it is still your right. My point is to check off all the boxes for any state remedy. When they deny you, or when they deny enough of us and we raise the volume, perhaps the ACLU will then listen , or someone….and take it above this shithole state to federal court. Perhaps. I didn’t offer them my human or civil rights as leverage, nor did you. They are not theirs to trample nor to take. Wrong is wrong and the truth is the truth no matter who sees it. Their corruption needs exposed, my approach has been to tell any agency and every human responsible to tell someone else,…to shift the burden and lay the blame precisely where it belongs. If I had my druthers, I’d call upon Gloria Allred to sue the state and demand reparations for harm done. I am not sure anyone else has the balls. The ACLU dances around it here…but they have the power to change much as well. So long as I’m breathing, change is coming….that’s all I know. No matter what hell I’m lying in…they will straight-up have to kill me first….and even then, I pray my words will outlive me in anything left behind. The more people who exercise their rights and are met by the commonwealth with silence, the stronger a case for anyone future to take on. A protest needs to happen in MA, peaceful, silent even……but LOUD….too loud to ignore, like a sit-in but immovable and bigger ….too big to ignore. So big it shuts down infrastructures and makes for great aerial photos.

            I’m so not kidding. I’m. Not. Leaving. Until. I. See. It.

    2. The public health departments in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts were not concerned. That’s what I mean about MA. What it says and what it does are two different things. My allergies flare up at night, making it more difficult to get uninterrupted sleep. Not sure if mold is the culprit, I hadn’t thought about it.

      1. Mass Health, gets all if a person dies, who used their almighty hand for coverage. Everything. Before the family touches it. If that doesn’t say ALL about how this state works to make and keep people ill, not to mention the systemic greed driven by a lack of human decency and public corruption.nothing else does. Nothing. SC and NC haven’t voted to cover the Medicaid gap of no income or low income individuals and will let you die….homicide the leading cause of death for women in SC for 19 years I lived there. Magistrate judges that issue emergency restraining orders not even required to have law licenses. And I thought THAT was bad. Gotta say, at least they don’t hide it. MA is so layered in intentional deceit I find it abhorring, and that’s saying a hellalot given where I came from. The Bigot Belt of the South has nothing in Boston especially, I’ve never seen more overt discrimination in my life, MA just DOES. NOT. CARE. Fine…….but at least OWN it, own the position for the stance they take….that’s the part I can’t stand perhaps more than the indecency of the motivations themselves. It takes a certain level of hate to go day-in and day-out looking at people like liabilities against capitalism. And MA wears that well. Where are the people they help hiding? My brain rehab place is #2 in the world?! My AZZ….ain’t no way given the care I haven’t gotten. If I hear the statement “I’ll have to check with my preceptor.”one more time , I may die of disgust instantaneously, stg. I used to think Harvard was a lofty goal before I came here….I now have no respect for that institution given their teaching hospitals do nothing but exploit people. #shameful smdh Omg, ima be quiet. Sorry. This stuff hits nerves like nothing else, like.NOTHING.ELSE. They make addicts of everyone they don’t want to handle and then they hand them plastic bins. Sadly if either of us resorted to illegal activities we’d have more help in this state than we could manage. That’s outrageous. We are clearly both smart people. While brain injury takes much, it did leave my IQ ….which I remind folks of daily -like Harvard teaching hospital interns-…..I’m telling you, all this can’t be for nothing. We need to demand accessibility. Period(t)!

  4. The Mold : It’s a problem. Laws of Human Habitation , MA. You have a right to an inspection within max of 5 days, call to report that if you haven’t. But, either way….that makes the unit inaccessible for your disability and thereby would create undo hardship (anxiety) , if you have a doctor who will state that in writing. Boom. But then they have to offer you shelter and those have mold….mine did. But, don’t think about that now. If you did go into shelter short term it would help you to get a voucher long term, file online in housing court to get the landlord to stop breaching your quiet enjoyment and if applicable to stop harassing you ….maybe you can then go to DV shelter. Which , is a tad better but …I know they have openings. I’m sitting in one that has openings lol.

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