Date on Honors Thesis



Political Science/Pre-Prof Legal Studies


Professional Writing


To what extent do tenants’ income affect the frequency at which they act against their landlords? Conflict theory suggests that escalating tensions between landlords and tenants encourages the latter group to question socioeconomic hierarchies. The understanding that under relative deprivation theory may explain why renters do, in fact, demand legal remedies from their landlords. Yet, social exchange theory establishes that financially insecure renters will overlook contractual violations to maintain rapport with their landlords. Data acquired from the Milwaukee Area Renters Study (MARS), between 2009 and 2011, was used to understand the relationship between Americans’ financial stress and the action those tenants take against landlords. The results of this study found that race, rather than income, was the only predictor of tenants rent striking. Further research should seek to answer how redlining and various social patterns may explain the significance race plays in a tenant’s decision to withhold rent.