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(en) Poland, "WHAT YOU DO ARE PURE ANTI-CAPITALISM FROM THE NIGHTS OF STALINISM" - REACTIONS TO THE INTERVENTION OF WSLU (ca, de, it, pt, tr)[machine translation]

Date Wed, 14 Sep 2022 10:58:50 +0300


On September 1, in Poznan, together with the Wielkopolska Association of Tenants, we conducted a tenant intervention on Przepiórcza Street. The owner of the flat some time ago informed the tenant - a single mother - that she was increasing her rent from PLN 1,200 to PLN 1,800 per month. The tenant stated that she did not agree to such a drastic increase and was ready to agree to the amount of PLN 1,500. This week the owner threatened to throw her out of the house. Such a "visit" was expected on Thursday, September 1. The tenant had contact with the Wielkopolska Association of Tenants for several days. On the day of the expected wild eviction, our activists went to the site and installed a new insert in the door lock so that no unauthorized person could break into the apartment. At the moment, the tenant remains in contact with WSL so that in the event of any problems, you can react. ---- Keywords WSL Evictions stop tenants rights
Dry information with a photo on our profile caused a real storm in the comments. In fact, it is very easy to refute the arguments contained in them and explain what we did in the comments section, but it is also worth gathering everything in one material. To add some drama, the comments will be original. In sequence:
"What right do you replace the locks in the rented apartment without the consent of the owner"

It is an acceptable practice as part of ensuring the integrity of the home - breaking it is a crime in Poland. When handing over the premises, when the lease agreement expires or is broken for formalities, the insert in the lock can be replaced with the original one. To replace the lock, neither the knowledge nor the consent of the owner of the apartment is required, and he has no right to interfere with the tenant by unannounced or unwanted visits.

"The tenant is not the owner but the user of the apartment"

When signing a lease agreement, the tenant pursuant to Art. 336 of the Civil Code becomes the dependent owner of the apartment. The use of an apartment is a completely different legal category that has not occurred in the described case.

"Is it illegal to increase the rent? I guess it's normal ... housing loans are rising, inflation is raging, fees are closing ... where is the owner to get the money from? "

Let's start with the legal issues. During the term of the lease contract, the owner may increase the rent by terminating the existing contract (with at least 3 months' notice) only in strictly defined situations and by a strictly defined value (if it is to exceed 3% of the reconstruction value of the apartment). This is clearly stated in Article 8a of the Act on the protection of tenants' rights, the commune's housing stock and on the amendment to the Civil Code of June 21, 2001.
The question of where the owner is to take the funds for the increasing costs of his maintenance does not have to be in the spectrum of the tenant's interest, especially considering the obvious - they concern him more acutely. The vast majority of people who rent a flat are not rentiers, but earn their living by their own hands.

"What if the owner of the apartment has five children and her only source of income is the money from renting this apartment?"

Families with many children in Poland can count on state support, especially if they are incomplete. Comparing a single mother with at least 2 properties (including one for rent) with a single mother forced to rent a flat clearly shows the inequality in their position. This was probably not the intention of the person writing such a comment, but thank you for giving a clear example of the consequences of having speculative property.

"The easiest thing would be if the current tenants would simply find a flat at a price that interests them"

Maybe the simplest, but ... it's impossible. Apart from the fact that it is as justified as the statement that it is easiest to save a million zlotys in a year, saving PLN 2,739.72 a day, the tragic housing situation in Poland simply makes it impossible. After Slovakia, we have the lowest number of flats per 1000 inhabitants in the EU (EU average 435, in Poland 393). 37% of the people in the country live in overcrowded apartments by EU standards (data from 2019). The average age of becoming independent (leaving the family home) is gradually increasing. There is a substandard in the form of studio apartments, in fact illegally built "flats", thanks to which the average size of an average apartment in large cities fell from 65 to 56 sq m in 2010-2021. All these phenomena are accompanied by an explosion in prices per square meter real estate (both in large and small towns).

"You only present the version of the person who rents the apartment, not the owner"

First of all, we have presented all the key information for this particular case - illegal rent increases and the real threat of wild eviction. All others are irrelevant and did not affect them. Secondly, we are not interested in any other arguments of the owner, especially in their context. Thirdly, in the relationship of power over tenants, we are only interested in issues that will allow us to overcome this power. The housing problem that causes and reflects other problems in class society after years of conspiracy of silence is finally beginning to echo in the mainstream, and we will do our best to strengthen our voice - the people most affected by this problem.

"Fear to rent a flat; (understand the fear of people like me"

This comment was written by a person who was the only one to openly admit that he owns an apartment for rent. Understanding her reason is simple. She dreams of a completely deregulated housing market where her margin would simply be even higher. The paradox of this approach is that in such a world, sooner or later even a small rentier would eventually fall victim to large consortia or investment funds purchasing several hundred or even several thousand apartments. Classically, therefore, we are dealing with an upstart who has a quick profit before the eyes of the imagination at the expense of relatively (in relation to great players) relatives in the social ladder - but due to the lack of property (even in utility) distant to treat them as a source of passive income.
This is everyone's war against everyone else. We represent an approach to such power from the perspective of class solidarity - we are not interested in the nuances and emotional arguments that allow us to diffuse this perspective. We are not interested in climbing the social ladder on the backs of people like us (which, in fact, is what the system leaves us with). We don't have to look for common denominators with those who are perhaps only temporarily a step or two higher - we have enough people around us like us.

"What's the matter with you?" What you are doing is pure anti-capitalism straight from the nightmares of Stalinism. "

Capitalism has led us to a situation in which a single mother with a child, despite paying not the lowest rent, is at risk of being thrown out of the house overnight - and this is only a small portion of what our times offer us. Regardless of the name of the system in which individual societies currently live, the dominant model is neoliberal capitalism with a more or less limited representative "democracy". This model, based on the constant accumulation of capital, no longer causes "only" more and more stratification (both within individual countries and globally). Increasing authoritarianism of the authorities (regardless of the state) is intensifying, more and more violent military conflicts, but also climate disasters, disturbances of entire ecosystems. All this with the overriding principle - privatization of profits and socialization of costs. We are an anti-capitalist force, we want direct democracy in all aspects of life - because it is the simplest and most just way out of a dead end that has led us to power and the dictates of capital.

https://www.rozbrat.org/informacje/poznan/4814-to-co-robicie-to-czysty-antykapitalizm-rodem-z-koszmarow-stalinizmu-reakcje-na-interwencje-wslu
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