housing

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!

Solidarity with Abahlali baseMjondolo against killing of their members

Abahlali baseMjondolo (AbM) is a grassroots, democratic and member-led organisation based in Durban, a city in the KwaZulu-Natal province of South Africa. AbM have an impressive record of exposing corruption and asserting the constitutional rights of thousands of the marginalised shack-dwelling people. We, the undersigned, are in support of the resolve of AbM members to strive for more participatory forms of development and to advance the struggle for access to urban land.

We condemn all assassinations, political murders and other acts of violence and intimidation against AbM members and housing rights activists. In the past 18 months, four housing rights activists have been killed. This includes two prominent AbM members:

"London – a migrant's guide" - a new pamphlet by Solidarity Federation

En Español | Po polsku

Since the beginning of the crisis more and more migrants are arriving in London and the UK. When people come here, they often find their first steps difficult. We want everyone to feel welcome and help them as much as possible. That’s why we have published  a new pamphlet, “London – a migrant's guide”. It is a practical introduction to life in London and the UK.

The following areas are covered in the guide: