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Dec 8, 21

Tenants Demand Tecton Corporation Make Repairs and Provide Habitable Conditions

Report from Puget Sound Tenant Union about campaign to demand that Tecton Corporation make basic repairs in the city of Burien, Washington in the Pacific Northwest.

This summer, we made contact and started organizing with tenants at two apartment buildings in Burien managed by Tecton Corporation. Tecton is a large, shady property management company that maintains (or rather, fails to maintain!) many slumlord properties in the Puget Sound area, as the numerous 1-star reviews on their Yelp and Google Reviews page can attest.

We were horrified by the terrible, unhealthy, unsafe conditions at these buildings — conditions that have persisted for many years. We found that many units were infested with cockroaches and bedbugs, and suffer from major problems like water damage, flooding (in one building, the first floor floods annually with dirty sewage water), widespread black mold, unstable balconies, frequent elevator break-downs (causing wheelchair-bound tenants to get trapped in or out of their homes for days), etc. There is trash and graffiti everywhere, and the carpets are extremely old and moldy and haven’t been cleaned in years, maybe decades.

In addition, seeing as Tecton and the landlords have been in blatant violation of the law, tenants have tried complaining to the City of Burien multiple times and even reaching out to local politicians. However, this yielded no results. When city officials finally deigned to meet with us, it was only to tell us that they could do nothing because tenant laws are “self-enforced,” or landlord-tenant disputes are “private” matters in which the state can’t intervene. We have to wonder, what is the purpose of even having laws if they can’t be enforced?!

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