A few weeks ago a group of tenants contacted SeaSol because they were fed up with the unsanitary conditions and unresponsive management at Sterling Manor, an apartment complex in North Seattle. For months the tenants had reportedproblems including extensive mold, leaks, broken or missing appliances, and signs of bedbugs. Property managers ignored them, doing nothing to fix the most serious issues. The mold was the worst problem. Several tenants and their children were chronically sick, and some of their belongings were ruined. One of the tenants remembered that SeaSol had previously supported a relative in a fight against an abusive landlord, and thought that we could help get much-needed repairs and cleaning done at Sterling Manor.
Cornell & Associates reacted immediately, notifying all the Sterling Manor tenants that they would be performing a “routine” inspection of their units. Long-time tenants in the building say this is the first time the managers had ever done this kind of inspection. Though property manager Susana acknowledged extensive mold and other issues in several units, she made no concrete plans to address the worst problems, much less to hire a professional mold remediation service.
Needless to say, it is clear that Cornell & Associates’ intent is to use any pretext to evict as many organized tenants as possible while intimidating those who remain. This kind of retaliation is illegal under state law, and neither the Sterling Manor Tenants’ Association or SeaSol will stand for it. Our fight is just getting started, and we’ll keep it up until the retaliation stops and tenants at Sterling Manor get the respect and healthy living conditions they deserve.