Notorious eviction attorney Dennis Block boasts to have “evicted more than tenants than any other human being on the planet Earth.” He describes rent control as a “cancer,” and cheers on rising rents on Twitter. Like many of the landlords he represents, he’s made a fortune by putting profits over people. Unsurprisingly, he’s one of the most vocal opponents of rent control.
Based in Los Angeles, Block proudly claims that he’s evicted than 200,000 tenants since 1976 — a staggering number that’s larger than the population of Pasadena. His speciality? Kicking people out of rent-stabilized apartments so landlords can significantly raise rents with new tenants.
In 2007, the Los Angeles Times reported that Block attempted to evict a disabled woman from her rent-stabilized apartment in Hollywood because she was a few days late with her rent. Her lawyers said Block and the landlord’s true motivation was to remove her so they could bring in a new tenant and dramatically raise the rent. A judge stopped the shady tactic, and the woman was allowed to stay.
A shameless self-promoter, Block regularly holds seminars, tapes podcasts, and posts on Twitter and Facebook, offering up eviction strategies. At one conference, according to a leading anti-eviction attorney, Block half-jokingly suggested that a surefire way to get rid of pesky tenants is to “shoot them.”
In 2018, Block urged landlords to jack up rents before the passage of Proposition 10, a statewide ballot measure that sought to expand rent control. Profits always come first for Block and his ilk, even if that means forcing families and seniors into homelessness.
Block will undoubtedly oppose the Rental Affordability Act, the November 2020 initiative that expands rent control in California. He hates the strengthening of tenant protections — and tweets obsessively.
On June 5, 2017, when tweeting an article about rising rents and homelessness, the eviction attorney wrote glibly: “Rents going up! Good news for landlords.”
On May 9, 2017, when tweeting an article about East LA tenants and activists marching for rent control protections, Block dismissively wrote: “Rent control is really just Tenant Welfare and this cancer keeps trying to expand.”
On July 9, 2017, when tweeting an article about the street-level impacts of steep rent hikes by real estate investors, the eviction attorney nevertheless urged: “Investors – Raise your rents while you can.”
And on February 9, 2018, Block bitterly complained: “I am so frustrated with tenants demanding affordable housing…”
Block says evicting tenants is his “patriotic duty” — and it’s paid off handsomely. The attorney lives in exclusive Calabasas, where he owns a 7,779-square-foot mansion with 6 bedrooms and 6 baths and a tennis court that Zillow estimates to be worth $3.4 million.
Block joins a long list of billionaires and multi-millionaires who have made big profits off the backs of working people. But we can fight back — and rein in corporate greed — by supporting the Rental Affordability Act.