About Us

Who We Are

The Richmond Tenants’ Defense Council (RTDC) is an independent alliance of tenants and community partners who are building power to fight for the interests of working-class renters in our city. We are organizing all over the city to defend ourselves from the unfair business practices and appalling conditions that private property management companies and landlords expect us to simply accept.

What We Do

We organize ourselves and our neighbors to collectively demand resolutions for unresolved maintenance problems and unfair practices. We do not build our strategies around or put our trust in non-profits or politicians to solve these issues. With enough tenant support, we can force solutions from property managers and landlords ourselves. While we would love to see city-wide rent control and collective ownership of buildings by tenants, we don’t think these will happen overnight and know the more immediate concern for many people is having heat this winter and removing toxic black mold from the rooms their children play in.

How We Can Help

We have successfully built a local building-based council and are currently working with tenants at other properties to form new ones. The more tenants get organized across the city and support each other, the more we can defend ourselves.

If you are interested in forming a council in your building or are dealing with a negligent or abusive landlord/property manager, send us a message and we would be glad to discuss further.

Richmond Tenant Relief Fund

In Virginia the overwhelming share of the power rests with the landlords (“Five of the top 10 cities with the highest eviction rates in the country are in Virginia. In Richmond, 21 percent of the population lives below the poverty line, and the eviction rate is more than 11 percent. Two hours up Interstate 95, in Washington, the poverty rate is similar — about 18 percent — but the eviction rate is just 2.6 percent, less than a quarter of the Richmond rate.“). Evictions can be fast and brutal – the stress of finding a new place to live and the money to cover the application fee, security deposit and first month’s rent will almost always be well over $1,000. We can only defend against this as a group. We are building a defense fund to help cover some of those costs should the landlord retaliate. Please consider donating to help us keep the pressure on! (The fundraiser has ended, thanks for everyone’s contributions!!!)