One of Hyde Park’s largest landlords isn’t backing down from a tenant group that’s pursuing a rent strike.
Mac Properties, which manages about 5,000 units across 100 properties in the city, is likely to be short a significant amount of rent today, the first day rent checks are considered late. According to Block Club, the two sides couldn’t agree to a deal on rent payments.
To bolster public support, Mac Tenants United organized a protest on Sunday calling for a rent strike and issued a demand letter to the firm, which is the property management arm of New Jersey-based Antheus Capital.
A spokesperson for Mac, Peter Cassel, refused to say if rent forgiveness would be granted on a case-by-case basis, according to Block Club. But he did say he believes there will be instances of people paying less rent.
Last week, Mac sent a letter to tenants to continue making rent payments, asking them to “keep in mind” that 250 employees have families to feed, rent payments and elder and child-care responsibilities. The tenants group said it disputed the premise that Mac couldn’t pay its “low-wage workers” without its April rent. “We refused to be pitted against them,” organizer Zak Witus said.
Antheus, founded in 2002 by Eli Ungar and David Gefsky, is among the biggest landlords in Hyde Park, with 14 multifamily buildings under Mac’s management. Antehus also owns buildings in Kansas City and St. Louis, according to its website.
Although evictions can’t be carried out during the pandemic, city and state officials have not instituted a rent freeze. Any change in rent obligations would have to be negotiated between tenants and landlords. [Block Club] — James Kleimann