"Petitions are not good things in my mind," says UIP principal Steve Schwat.
"I think they force the tenant and the landlord to fight.
hopes to use the petition as the opening move in a negotiation.
wants to work out a deal with the residents of 3501 13th St. that will protect them from rent increases and offer lucrative buyouts to anyone willing to leave.
has yet to approach the tenants; Schwat
says the company is waiting for the tenants to retain legal counsel and start the conversation.
In the corner of Schwat's
office, across from the ceremonial hardhats and the rows of family photos, stands a sign with a two-word admonition: "Manage Aggressively!"
Plenty of D.C. property owners have taken advantage of voluntary agreements to raise rents and make building improvements, but Schwat
, who calls himself an "avid fan" of the practice, is its most vocal exponent.
reserves a special kind of ire for housing advocates who approach that balancing act the other way.
"The 'affordable housing advocates'"-he has a habit of forming scare quotes with his
fingers as he
utters those words-"they don't want a voluntary agreement.
About two-thirds of the building's residents took the $20,000 buyout and left, according to Schwat
"It's simple math," says Schwat
, offering a hypothetical.