The United States is in a housing crisis that is only worsening with time. Due to the runaway consequences of late stage capitalism, amongst other things, it is becoming harder and harder for the working class in the U.S. to afford to simply live, let alone own a home. Whether you are a renter or a homeowner, you have probably noticed these concerning trends. Wages have remained stagnant, home and rental prices have hit all time highs all across the country, and the amount of unhoused people is growing larger each day. Renters are punished by high prices and the inability to accumulate wealth, while homeowners have enjoyed a steady appreciation in the value of their homes that has only exacerbated inequality.
What is a "landlord"?
A “landlord” or “slumlord” is a person who charges other people to live in a property they “own”. The capitalist class in the United States likes to frame renting as one of unlimited options for living, when everybody knows the reality of the situation: you only have three choices: pay whatever it costs to rent a living space from a “landlord”, purchase a house, or be unhoused. The first two of which are becoming impossible, and the last one of which seems to be inevitable.
A “landlord” is a person who performs little to no labor. Indeed, maintenance, cleaning, upkeep of property, providing heat/electricity and fixing appliances are all forms of labor. However, most of this labor is not performed by the “owner” of the property. Landlords hire cleaners, maintenance workers, and rely on the government to perform the majority of their labor. And when they are forced to perform this labor themselves, they are reluctant, hostile, and are incentivized to not do it at all. Often, they hire a middle manager to handle all the associated coordinating and simply collect a check.
The money that a landlord collects after the associated cost of labor for the property (again, most often not even performed by the landlord themselves), is quite simply: money stolen from a working class tenant. Labor creates wealth, so when a landlord receives wealth without performing labor, they are stealing. Or if you are a business major, you may prefer the term “passive income”.
What is the purpose of this website?
Due to centuries of neoliberal legislating in this country, renters have been effectively stripped of most of their rights. Essentially, if you rent, you have no rights, or recourse in our legal system. This website is not really a solution, but a tool. We encourage people to use this site to report slumlords all across the country so we can better inform renters about the people who abuse and exploit them. This is not apartments.com or zillow. We don’t bury reviews, protect business interests, or promote any form of renting. Landlords do not have any say in what we put on the site and they never will. We simply keep track of landlords in the most honest way we can. Renters deserve to know who they are forced to rent from.
Are you a slumlord who has issues with this website? Click here for more information.