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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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Between a Rock and a Hard Place

Between a Rock and a Hard Place

(p.40) 2 Between a Rock and a Hard Place
The Great Rent Wars

Robert M. Fogelson

Yale University Press

This chapter focuses on New York City tenants’ struggle with rent hikes. Although most New Yorkers prospered during the war and for a short time afterward, they deeply resented the rent hikes. Tenants often tried to deal with excessive or inopportune rent hikes by appealing to their landlord. However, some landlords treated such appeals with an arrogance that bordered on contempt. Some New Yorkers whose rent was raised after World War I moved to cheaper apartments. Others were evicted, either because they could not pay higher rent or because they had offended the landlord in one way or another. Many tenants took an even more radical step: they ignored the ultimatum to pay or to move, and joined forces with other tenants who refused to pay or to move. In other words, they went on a rent strike.

Keywords:   New York City, landlord, tenants, rent, housing

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