housing

Brighton Solfed Housing Union

Brighton Solidarity Federation Housing Union is a group of people working together to improve our living conditions in the here and now. We're not legal experts or housing specialists - we're just ordinary people who want to improve our housing situations. We want to build a strong movement so that together we can challenge the extortionate rents and agency fees, and use direct action and self-organisation to put a stop to the scams, swindles and tricks of landlords and letting agents.

Does Brighton Council only care about PR?

UPDATE: since the publication of this article on the afternoon of Monday 10th July 2017, Larissa Reed, Executive Director for Neighbourhoods, Communities & Housing at Brighton council has been in touch to arrange a meeting with Brighton SolFed and the Bobby Carver campaign within the next two weeks. We look forward to hearing how the issues raised below are going to be addressed, and about the changes the council is going to put in place to ensure 'the safest homes possible' for everyone...

 

Tenant vs lettings agency: "We need to come together to improve conditions for everybody"

A lot of housing in the private rented sector is in an appalling state, and it's pretty hard for isolated tenants to get their landlord to make improvements. Here we publish the story of a tenant from a nearby town who contacted us during one of our Brighton housing disputes. It's a horror story in which the lettings agency forces the tenants to pay 6 months rent upfront, dismissing their complaints about unsafe living conditions with mental health slurs before dragging them to court for eviction. The account was written in the hope that it will encourage more tenants to come together to support one another, so we will no longer be isolated in the face of landlords who usually can count to have lettings agencies, lawyers, courts and often even councils on their side.

Stuff Your Landlord

The Stuff your Landlord doesn't want you to know

There are different types of renting and the most common, assured tenancies, often have rights written in the contract. Some rights always apply as long as you can prove you’ve paid the landlord* — no matter what the landlord or contract says.

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Brighton SolFed opens a dispute against Leaders letting agency

Brighton SolFed has started a dispute against the Western road branch of the letting agency Leaders. The agency facilitated an eviction attempt against a tenant that failed after a court hearing. SolFed has been trying to find a settlement for the dispute the last couple of weeks. Along with SolFed, the tenant is fighting for compensation for loss of earnings and damage to her health.

“They think they can do whatever they want” - a tenant's story

Earlier this month, we helped an international student get back her holding deposit from a lettings agency. Here is the tenant's story.

The agency were nice in the beginning, like every other agency. However they kept asking if I still wanted the flat. It made me feel quite pressured, so I paid the holding deposit of £650. I thought this was excessive, but the agency assured me that I would not lose the money as long as I proceeded with the tenancy application. Despite the deposit, the agency could still change whatever they wanted . They tried to postpone the advertised moving in date without my agreement, and referred to it being “subject to contract”. So if I said no, I would lose the deposit. How is it fair that they could hold my money against me and change the terms of tenancy in their favour!