Why form a tenant group?
Consider your life as a tenant. Is your apartment in decent condition? Do you know your neighbors? Do you feel safe where you live? Does the bus come nearby? Is there affordable day-care or health care nearby? do the kids in your development have after-school programs nearby? If you answered “no” to any of these questions, but you wish you could have answered “yes”, then you have a reason to organize. People organize because they agree there are serious problems that need to be fixed or that their collective actions can solve that problem.
Chances are that if there is a problem YOU think is serious, others will share that concern. If you have roaches or mice or are afraid to walk around the complex at night, chances are your neighbors are concerned with these things too.
If security is a problem, forming a tenants association can help you get to know who lives in your development and who doesn’t. You can look out for each other and lend a hand when it’s needed. You can also make life at the complex more fun by having the tenants’ association sponsor development-wide functions, like picnics or parties.
TIP: Management cannot unreasonably deny a tenants’ association request to use space for a tenant’s meeting. Be sure to put your request in writing. If you feel it’s necessary, request a receipt (usually the person receiving it can sign and date the front page and give you a photocopy of that front page).