Why real estate mobbing is a good reason to make renters a protected class

Real estate mobbing is an organized crime in which a legal resident is chased out of his or her legal home by criminal real estate speculators who want the property. In a cops-and-robbers’ wet dream, the harassers stalk, monitor, and harass their “target” using methods of surveillance and harassment. Real estate mobbing—continual harassment within and without one’s home by methods including radio, cell phone, wireless network, and surface harassment projected onto windows—is intentional harassment intended to take a physical, emotional, and mental toll on its victim. Over the very short run, real estate mobbing probably constitutes at least assault and battery. Over the long run, a real estate mobbing like the one I’ve endured for nearly two years to try to get an investigation, probably amounts to aggravated assault and maybe even attempted murder. It’s probably fair to say that real estate mobbing is domestic terrorism. Regardless of whether or not it is regarded as real estate scheme, racketeering, or domestic terrorism, real estate mobbing should interest the FBI.

Based on what I’ve witnessed as a victim of real estate mobbing in my northeast Seattle neighborhood, with cars coming and going under cover of darkness, dropping off and picking up people as though in shifts, there is a network of real estate mobbers who, in the mobbers’ parlance, “clear” tenants for the shady real estate speculators who are willing to use them. They conduct advance surveillance of the victim before mobbing to get information they can use to force a tenant to quietly leave. In my case, I was assured by a harasser early on that they had “all the email” I had ever written. Based on the domains of knowledge they display, mobbers include “private eyes” (and do seem to see themselves as “private dicks”) or those who thrill at using their methods, they include those with medical training to monitor and modulate the risk involved in deliberately stressing the victim, and they probably include part-timers who don’t mind committing a sneaky crime they are assured they’ll never be arrested for to make a few bucks. In an approach that blends old technologies with new to create a seamless experience of end-to-end harassment for the victim, mobbers are probably jacks-of-all-trades who know how to build vent work to transport harassment, how to use signal analyzers, packet sniffers and radio scanners to eavesdrop, and how to use cellular, wireless, and radio technologies—including software defined radios (SDR)—to hop from device to device and harass their victim.

In the best of all possible worlds, real estate mobbing is effected from a place of proximity, just a network hop away, with an attack vector that is hidden and short and with a human toll brutal and long. In the best of all possible worlds, real estate mobbing is a crime between neighbors in which harassment drifts from the eaves and wafts from exhaust vents like the smell of a warm cherry pie.

Boasting that they have “triangulated” the victim, the mobbers insult, and threaten, and taunt. They attempt to valorize a human rights crime by declaring a “property war.” Their aggression they deem a “professional real estate hit.”

What kind of people would recreate Jim Crow law for the tenants who reside in their neighborhood? What kind of “neighbors” would harbor criminals in their homes to harass those next door from their legal home? Why would any “good neighbor” do this? Why would a neighborhood watch conspire to commit such a crime against a local resident they should protect?

Real estate mobbing, in its cops-and-robbers approach to forced eviction, intentionally criminalizes and dehumanizes a legal resident with innuendo, mudslinging, hypocrisy, and the abuse of civil process. This is the propaganda that heralds the “war.” It’s no coincidence that such a nasty, take-no-prisoner method of profiteering would be used by real estate speculators.

Those who ply the predatory and criminal tactics of property mobbing seek appropriate victims. As a “class,” those who rent have or are perceived to have positions that are weak economically, socially, and in their neighborhoods. In my neighborhood where members of the neighborhood watch, even those who’ve worked in management positions for the City of Seattle, shake their fists in the street and openly cry that renters have no right to park on the public streets, “renters” are the appropriate victim class. The handy thing about mobbing is that you don’t have to worry about forcing someone who is not a criminal out of their home, because the goal of mobbing is to make them look like one.

As a neighborhood bullying situation enabled by the collusion of a corrupt neighborhood watch with real estate speculators evolved into a situation of real estate mobbing, I sought help through avenues including the ACLU, the Seattle Tenants Union, and agencies like the Washington State Human Rights Commission (WSHRC) and the Seattle Office for Civil Rights (SOCR). While I believed that a great part of the reason why I was targeted for the crime of real estate mobbing was the fact that I appeared, based on stereotype, vulnerable as a middle-aged woman living alone, it was difficult to claim that I was being victimized because I am a woman, because I am a single woman, or because I am middle-aged. Real estate mobbers, at least those mobbing me, attempt to use any and every facet of a person’s identity and existence to threaten, hoax, taunt and blackmail them out of their legal residence. If a mobber can use it to compel you to quietly leave your home, the mobber will.

The most likely reason for their interest in my home, and in the homes of most who rent, however, is that it is not “owner-occupied.” Real estate mobbers expect to be able to scare a tenant off of a lot because a tenant is not perceived as being invested in remaining in her home. Mobbers then expect to be able to pressure an “absent” owner or a euphemistically dubbed “reluctant seller” into selling a home based on the devaluation of the tenant in and the exclusion of the tenant from the community. The insurance policies that cover adverse possession lawsuits from avaricious neighbors are defensive and provide no protection from tortious interference by third parties into the contract between landlord and tenant, or from tenant harassment by third parties that is nothing more than a criminal proxy for an adverse possession lawsuit that is untenable. Real estate mobbers expect to be able to commit a crime against good people who rent because the rights and claims of home owners, especially if they are captains of the neighborhood watch, may be given greater weight than the contracts, rights, and even the lives of the “renters” they disdain.

But because tenants are not a protected class, real estate speculators can declare open season on those who legally rent homes on lots that speculators want to acquire. When neighborhood watch organizations forget their duties, when they stop existing for the good of all those in the neighborhood and instead use community to vent their spite, the neighborhood watch becomes a racket and its members racketeers. Racketeering or not, the wholesale disregard for the rights of tenants constitutes a wanton display of discriminatory bias.

Anti-discrimination laws exist to provide equal protection under the law. Generally the protected classes are defined to include physical characteristics including sex, race, and ethnicity. In liberal cities like Seattle, these classes may be widened to include political opinion. When housing is concerned, receiving Section 8 economic aid may also be included. But those who rent are not defined as a “protected class.” It is this lack of protection, in a neighborhood like mine, that has contributed to my being the victim of racketeers who are willing to assault and batter a legal tenant, to ruin her life for profit and not for just a bit of sport.

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