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Mellow, Laidback Beats and Deep Thoughts

I haven’t seen our new neighbor Ashley since I talked to him a couple weeks ago. But I met another young African-American man living in that same building, right across the street from us. His name is Damien. He was hanging out on the sidewalk on our side of the street with Ovi, a young Latino man.

They were hanging out in the shade because they still don’t have electricity in their apartments, and thus no air conditioning. Apparently the landlord hasn’t gotten it together and so the tenants are unable to get Entergy to turn their units on. She’s still charging them full rent. I wonder if that’s legal.

As we were chatting about this and that, it came out that Damien was working on a CD. “I’m not a rapper,” he said. “I’m a poet.” A friend was adding some music to some of his poetry. “Just mellow, laidback beats and deep thoughts.”

Hot damn, I’d love to hear that.

Published inNeighbors


  1. MY thoughts–
    You lie! it really was you that played the Billy Joel on the jukebox [loved that blog/story!].

    You just want Ashley & Co. to share their ganja….

  2. Not it’s not legal for them to be charged rent in a place that isn’t able to have a/c as far as I know. In this heat, I don’t know how anyone can manage without air :(.

    Hope you are doing well.

  3. Some friends of mine paid full rent on a place in Mid-City from late December to late March. The slumlord they were renting from never got the electricity turned on in all that time, despite having said it would be two weeks.

    After three months of no power, my friends called a lawyer. He told them that it wasn’t legal, that the landlord was violating the Warranty of Habitability by not providing electricity. (I just looked this term up and the most concise definition I found was this: “a warranty of habitability obligates landlords to make repairs necessary to make a rental property habitable and empowers tenants to sue for injunctive relief if the landlord fails to make repairs.”)

    However, the lawyer advised my friends to break their lease and move out rather than try to fight the landlord, citing the costs involved.

    I’m not a lawyer; I’m just relaying what I heard from my friends. I hope it helps.

  4. […] My part of Mid-City seems to have two types of absentee landlords: bad and worse. The worse landlords have not done much to their properties since the flood, except to gut them. They are nowhere near habitable. The bad landlords have “fixed up” their properties and rented them out. However, whether they are truly habitable or not is another question. The people across the street from me have no electricity. The people around the corner have no gas (and thus no hot water). Note that these tenants are paying rent, and at rates typically double what they paid pre-Katrina. Note also that these tenants are hard-working people without disposable income, and often without a strong command of the English language. Is it legal to charge rent for a place without basic utilities? What can we do to deal with these landlords and help out our neighbors? […]

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