Ocean Rescinds Eviction Notices after Union Pushback

Nora Grace-Flood, NH Independent Sept. 8, 2023

A megalandlord has walked back on threats to evict 16 tenants and agreed to negotiate on lease security, rent stability and living conditions — after members of the city’s first legally recognized tenants union used public and legal pressure to hang on to their homes.

Ocean Management, one of New Haven’s largest property management-landlord-real estate investment outfits, signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with the Blake St. Tenants Union that rescinds those 16 notices to quit in exchange for the withdrawal of a lawsuit and fair rent complaint filed against the business by union members.

That all comes after the union fired back against the landlord’s attempt to kick out a quarter of residents at the Elizabeth Apartments complex at 311 Blake St. in late August, claiming that the lapse-of-time eviction notices — which stated that tenants had to move out because their leases had expired and the landlord did not want to renew — were actually an act of retaliation against tenants for organizing to push back against a potential rent hike.

Since Ocean first began distributing those notices to quit in residents’ doorways on Aug. 19, the tenants union delivered a petition opposing the eviction filings to their landlord, held a press conference, filed for injunctive relief, filed a lawsuit, and organized a protest with over 300 tenants rights activists and local labor organizers. On Sept. 1, Ocean drafted and signed a memorandum of understanding withdrawing those notices and promising not to pursue any more lapse-of-time evictions for at least three months.

Many Blake St. tenants were kept on month-to-month leases after Ocean purchased the property two years ago, meaning that every 30 days their landlord could choose to let that lease expire … [CT Tenants Union VP Luke] Melonakos-Harrison said he hopes the union’s win will also mean ​“more and more people will come to understand how unfair these types of evictions are and why we need universal no-cause eviction protections in Connecticut.”

Read more here: www.newhavenindependent.org/article/ocean_rescinds_notices_to_quit_after_tenants_persist

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