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Brighton Solidarity Federation has started a dispute with Town and City Residential Lettings, operating out of English Business Park, near Hove Cemetery. A tenant has been organising with SolFed after the agency failed to address severe mould and damp issues, which the tenant lost several belongings to, and then took the cost of necessary refurbishment and repair out of the tenant’s deposit. The tenant, a single mother dealing with anxiety, has suffered repeated harassment and bullying by the agency. This has come to a climax with the agency demanding at first £200 from the tenant’s deposit, arbitrarily raising this figure to £780, and then making a final, ludicrous demand for £1030.

Along with the Tenant, Brighton Solfed wrote to the agency on the 29th of January in order to lay out  the issues and put forward options for redress. We were disappointed (but not entirely surprised) to find the Agency responded with a series of falsehoods concerning the tenancy and even made legal threats if we moved forward with the public campaign.

Due to the belligerent attitude of the Agency and the fact that they made no effort to reach an amicable resolution, we have opened a public campaign. The combination of callous neglect and bullying by agencies is by now sadly familiar, but we will show them that with solidarity comes strength, and we won’t be turned away by empty legal threats, or bureaucratic misdirection!

Brighton SolFed is supporting the tenant in two key demands: First, a full return of the deposit of £1,280.00, and in addition, compensation amounting to £500.00, which covers clothes and other items lost to mould, as well as loss of income due to the severe impact this has had on the tenant’s mental health.

While the agency’s initial response to the tenant’s reasonable demands has been disappointing, we know that with collective strength and direct action even the most stubborn letting agent or landlord can be convinced to negotiate. When we recognise we are all being drained by their deposit theft and neglect we can stand up and fight back!

An Injury to one is an injury to all!

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This article was published on 14 February 2018 by the SolFed group in Brighton. Other recent articles:

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