Matthew Desmond

“Tenants able to pay their rent in full each month could take advantage of legal protections designed to keep their housing safe and decent. Not only could they summon a building inspector without fear of eviction, but they also had the right to withhold rent until certain repairs were made.12 But when tenants fell behind, these protections dissolved. Tenants in arrears were barred from withholding or escrowing rent; and they tempted eviction if they filed a report with a building inspector. It was not that low-income renters didn’t know their rights. They just knew those rights would cost them.”


Matthew Desmond, Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City
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Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City by Matthew Desmond
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