What is the Landlord Watchlist Project?
The Landlord Watchlist Project (LWP) is a PA-based progressive grassroots organization, working to connect tenants to resources, advocate for fair housing policies, and track cases of eviction and other predatory landlord behavior during the COVID-19 pandemic. LWP was launched in early-December 2020. We were inspired by the Landlord Watchlist provided by the New York City Office of the Public Advocate.
In the short-term, we are advocating for the extension of the eviction moratorium and rent cancellation. In the long-term, we believe that housing is a human right, not a commodity.
What is the Landlord Watchlist Project’s methodology?
LWP first collects cases of predatory landlord behavior through our public Google Form (en español). This link can be found on our website, Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook as well as on flyers across Pennsylvania.
LWP volunteer researchers then investigate landlords and property management companies using court filings, public records, and mentions in media. Information about the tenant or their case is not accessible to volunteer researchers, only the name of the landlord and a zip code.
Once research on the landlord is completed, LWP organizers contact tenants by phone to learn more about their story, connect them to much-needed resources, and fill out a second, more detailed intake form. LWP organizers then decide what information to publish about the landlord while prioritizing the safety and security of tenants.
Do you ever work with landlords?
No. Our top priority is tenant safety. We do not want to put tenants at risk of potential retaliation. If a tenant is interested in resources that include mitigation with the landlord, we are more than happy to connect them to that resource.
Can I submit a case anonymously?
Yes. When submitting a case of predatory landlord behavior, tenants will always have the option to remain anonymous. Anonymous reports alone will have less weight when LWP considers publicizing a predatory landlord but are still very important. Anonymous tenants may also contact us for additional resources.