Letter to Harrison Neighborhood Association

October 29, 2014

Claire Bergren
Harrison Neighborhood Association
503 Irving Ave. N. #100
Minneapolis, MN 55405

Dear Claire:

A tenant at my apartment building at 1708 Glenwood Avenue gave me the enclosed leaflet, which gives you as a contact person. Evidently, the same leaflets were slipped under the door of other units of the apartment as well. The leaflets give information about a “Know Your Rights” workshop directed at renters which Harrison Neighborhood Association sponsored on October 27th, along with dinner.

I wish to express my disapproval of this leafletting campaign. I have no problem with tenants becoming informed of their legal rights but I do have a problem with some aspects of this campaign.

First, it is disrespectful to the landlord to be conducting such a campaign without his or her knowledge. From my perspective, the tenant’s first recourse in disputes with landlords ought to be to contact the landlord and try to correct the problem cooperatively instead of going to court. This workshop seems to be a workshop on how tenants can sue landlords. To put tenants in that frame of mind creates problems for landlords, of which I am one.

Second, I object to your representative entering my building without my knowledge or permission for the purpose of distributing leaflets with a potentially hostile message. The building is not a public place but a private residence for tenants, and no one should enter the building without permission of tenants, the building owner, or other authorized persons.

Let me say that Harrison Neighborhood Association ought to be supportive of all neighborhood residents, businesses, and other legitimate entities within the neighborhood, and should not try to foment division between landlords and tenants or between other groups.

That said, I recognize that anti-landlord campaigns are the way that some elected officials, with the help of neighborhood organizations, choose to do their politics. I myself had problems with Harrison Neighborhood Association when I first became a landlord twenty some years ago. I am therefore apprehensive when seeing the same type of activity or theme resurface. It is for that purpose that I make my displeasure with respect to the leafletting campaign on October 27th known at this time.


William McGaughey

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