Detrese's story

For Detrese Dowridge, "treat people as you want to be treated" is more than a trite phrase.
 
It's a standard for justice. And her landlord was not living up to it.
 
She'd been trying to get Sage Management to fix unsafe conditions in the apartment she shared an apartment with her young son, and struggling to fend off her landlord’s perpetual fees and eviction attempts.
 
In the midst of this, community organizers from the Right to Housing Alliance invited her to a meeting about tenants’ rights. There she met Public Justice Center attorney Zafar Shah, who works with the Right to Housing Alliance to defend tenants' rights thorugh a combination of legal advocacy and community organizing. They found the landlord was charging her and many others excessive fees and then allocating rent toward the fees, making it impossible to stay current on rent.
 
Together with fellow tenants Trachell Speaks and Shonda Billings, Detrese Dowridge filed a class action lawsuit to challenge Sage Management's fee collection practices. Your support enabled the Public Justice Center represented them, in cooperation with co-counsel Goldman & Minton, P.C.
 
Ms. Dowridge and the other tenants won a strong victory: the landlord agreed to change the way it does business and pay tenants back for the excessive fees, to the tune of nearly $1 million in compensation and debt forgiveness.
 
With your gift, you can keep the momentum of Ms. Dowridge's victory going. We recently filed a case against another management company for similar alleged fee-churning practices. And with your help, we are launching a campaign to reform unbalanced practices in Baltimore City's rent court.
 
Thank you for standing arm in arm with tenants who speak out for their rights.