What is a “Tenant Council”

A tenant council is a group of tenants (also known as renters) who work together to improve their conditions; each council is a member-run organization built upon the collective power of working class renters. Much like a labor union, a tenant council establishes solidarity around shared struggles. Councils organize for lower rents, timely maintenance, or to stop landlord harassment, corner-cutting, and neglect. Councils also empower renters to understand their rights and legal protections. Tenant Councils of San Diego connects renters in these councils across communities and provides support and resources for successful organizing. Together, we are stronger and less vulnerable to retaliation and abuse. 

Why do we organize?

We believe safe, habitable and stable housing is a basic human right that directly impacts a person’s ability to survive, earn a living, and care for others. The rental market exists solely as a means of generating profit for landlords and not as a solution to a perceived “housing shortage.” No person should struggle for decent housing in a country where millions of homes stand empty, where many of the world’s billionaires grow their fortunes, and where hundreds of billions of dollars go to military spending every year. To that end, Tenant Councils of San Diego fights for the decommodification of housing entirely.

How do I form a Tenant Council where I live?

Forming a Tenant Council begins with talking to your neighbors! Start getting to know the people living next to you, ask them about their issues, and consider setting up a meeting to talk about common issues as a group.

Join TCSD to get connected to a community of renters who are all organizing for their interests, who can help you get your Tenant Council off the ground so that you can improve the conditions in your complex. None of us are alone in this fight!