The phenomenon of real estate mobbing seems to involve a network of criminal real estate “clearers.” In my case, for example, a series of vehicles have come, usually for a few nights weekly, to the mobbing houses. The harassment changes depending on the vehicles in attendance. The change might be in the gender or age of the harassing voices, it might be in some distinctive characteristic of the harassing voice or the type of harassment, for example, some harassers seem more interested in bodily functions, others in personal habits. The vehicles have changed over time, to at least some extent, and there is a studied effort to come in after dark or to attempt to harass and distract while the harassers quickly come and go, often getting rides from others or quickly departing from a closed garage. Over time, too, the apparent age of the voices in the mobbing has dropped, as have their claims to be or to “represent” people from the neighborhood who are known to me.
The voice of the owner in the north house complained to me a while back, “I’ve got people coming from all over the state to mob you.” That may be true. I would assume that anything involving tenant “clearing” is easier to do in locations without tenants’ rights organizations such as the Tenants Union in King County. I would also assume that criminal harassment for purposes of speculation is easier to get away with in cities with more conservative politics and fewer protections for citizens than exist in Seattle. But this statement does make it clear that there is at least a network of those who do this. I would also wonder if this type of practice is supported by those house “flippers” and real estate speculators who would subscribe to the membership area of sites like propertymob.com. The existence of sites that openly encourage investors to report the owners of desirable lots for property violations in order to compel them to sell and that complain about the hassles of investment properties with tenants would make me wonder whether site members are being taught how they might get tenants to “Move on!” and their landlords to sell.
Although there does seem to be a real estate mobbing network of some type, it also seems likely that harassing tenants out of properties is, for some, is an undertaking that is at least known of or supported by their families and that might be good old-fashioned family fun.
Fun and profit, that is.
The move-in of the twenty- to thirty-something couple in the south mobbing house was attended by both of their families, groups of people who would later make me think of some website where I’d seen “World’s Worst Neighbors” advertising themselves for hire out to people who don’t like their neighbors. Over time and based on events leading to the onset of the criminal mobbing, I concluded that it made sense that “real estate mobbing” would progress from a scenario of unpleasant, “bad” or “snobby” neighbors through a phase of malicious gossip, defamation and increasing threats before the full-on harassment, cyber-stalking and stalking that finally emerged in my own situation in spring of 2014.
The family aspect of real estate mobbing has been prevalent from the start when the mother of the owner of the house to the south told me on meeting me, as though she did not know I rented, that most renters were not “very good people.” It wasn’t long before I heard the owner of that mobbing house complaining loudly to his father about where I parked on the public street and heard the father’s response: “Don’t worry son, we’ll get her out.” And then, this in the summer the mobbing began, I stood in my driveway and saw, when their garage door opened, the father and son working together on a venting system. Seeing me in my driveway, they closed the garage door. The venting was soon installed and then later raised up to its current position of venting directly at the window pane in my half-light side door.
That summer, as I began to be mobbed in my bed by sound that was likely projected at the windows, there were numerous days when I was horrified to see the parents of both the owner of the mobbing house to the south and his girlfriend going into the house while ventilation harassment drifted between their house and my own. This type of harassment they typically shut off whenever people came up the driveway they didn’t want to hear it; I was left with the conclusion that those for whom they did not turn it off were friends who knew. Indeed, on one occasion, I heard a woman who’d come up the driveway to the south mobbing house with a friend knowingly remark, “They’re harassing her out of her house.” During these months, I saw people from the local neighborhood watch, too, coming and going from the mobbing house while harassment was freely directed to me, and the voices of the local neighborhood watch were also included in the mob. One day, standing out in my driveway, I watched the owner of the mobbing house to the south conspiratorially talking to his parents who had just emerged from the house as the mobbing was underway. The older woman assured him as the vehicle drove away, “A few more days.”
Now it is a year or a year and a half later. Funny thing, the parents of those kids don’t come over a lot more anymore. Shortly after I began writing the City Attorney of Seattle and wrote my first letter to the Attorney General (I have a second ready to go this week), the mother of the girlfriend of the south mobbing house showed up and loaded some stuff into her Audi or Lexis SUV. It wasn’t the first time that I’d made a complaint and seen them pull a vehicle close to the opening of the garage to load some draped or boxed object.
But there’s a real likelihood that in real estate mobbing, there are families who mob and who pull in their children and relatives to mob or to support the mobbing, even just by dropping hints or having a lot of noisy “family” gatherings next door. There are the added side benefits of having multiple generations not only to keep up appearances or to be able to thoroughly network the neighborhood but to better represent voices of all ages in the mob, even to use the voices of one’s own children in the mob.
It has also occurred to me that if the mobbers are threatening to accuse you of pedophilia—and at one point my landlord did tell me there was gossip about my asking “girls” to “pose” for my camera, something so ridiculous to me that I laughed since I hadn’t the slightest interest in photographing anyone in this neighborhood—perhaps they would even use their children to make false accusations to police. That is, basically, what happened in Wenatchee, Washington years back, isn’t it? For more information on a modern witch hunt, see https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wenatchee_child_abuse_prosecutions. If people are so afraid of being accused of crimes like child abuse, just think how attractive it would be to real estate mobbers to try use such accusations to force people out of their homes and to get them to leave without anyone being the wiser.
But there is reason to investigate real estate mobbing as a network of individuals and families who collude in forcibly evicting residents from a property they want to acquire, perhaps by playing the snobby new owner of the home next door or the young family who is somehow more deserving of the property than the older legal resident and encouraging them to move in a more “civil” manner. Interestingly, both the owner of that mobbing house and his girlfriend have other “family” businesses they engage in with their parents.
It’s possible that the adult children move into the home as the bright young family, the up-and-coming and somehow more sympathetic new home owners while their own parents finance and back the venture. This makes sense since the type of people who would do such a thing as a family probably bring up their children teaching them to hate. When the property they wish to acquire falls, the house is razed, rebuilt and flipped. The mobbing family benefits from the criminal venture, each of them walking away with a share of the profit.
I suppose it’s possible that encouraging your kids to criminally harass a neighbor out of her home could be just a cheap way to get your kids started on a nest egg or to recoup any down-payment you gave them on the mobbing house, but that seems like a pretty sad possibility.