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The Great Rent WarsNew York, 1917-1929$
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Robert M. Fogelson

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780300191721

Published to Yale Scholarship Online: May 2014

DOI: 10.12987/yale/9780300191721.001.0001

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(p.1) Prologue
The Great Rent Wars

Robert M. Fogelson

Yale University Press

This chapter presents an account of the coal shortage that hit New York in 1918 that forever changed landlord-tenant relations in the city. As temperatures fell, many tenants grew desperate. They pleaded with the landlords for heat and hot water, but were often told that there was no coal. Those who tried to withhold rent until the landlord restored heat and hot water were threatened with eviction and/or summary proceedings. When the coal shortage ended, tenants remained furious with landlords not only for failing to provide heat and hot water, but also for exploiting the coal shortage to raise the rent.

Keywords:   coal shortage, landlords, tenants, New York, rent

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