Illegal Evictions – Divide and rule

Since the start of the recession there has been a rise in illegal evictions, and with the changes to Housing Benefit coming in next year there could be an even bigger rise. The Law Tenants actually have a lot of legal protection under the 1977 Protection from Eviction Act (England & Wales), TheRent (Scotland) Act [...]

Success for Campaign Against Letting Agency Fees

The Scottish Government have announced that they will clarify the existing laws against letting agency fees, confirming that the fees which many tenants are forced to pay for referencing, credit checks, inventories, or unspecified admin costs, are in fact illegal. Although the Rents (Scotland) Act 1984 states that landlords and letting agents may not charge [...]

Letting Agent Fails to Disrupt Tenant Protest

In a farcical move, letting agent DJ Alexander hired contractors to carry out unsafe work outside their offices at noon on Friday 20th July in an attempt to prevent a protest by Edinburgh Private Tenants’ Action Group (EPTAG). More than 20 tenants – some of them in TV cop costumes inspired by the Beastie Boys’ [...]

Rent Control for a Living Rent

Guest post by Jon B Rents in the private rented housing market are becoming extortionate, with many tenants falling into ‘rent poverty’. The Government’s response is making the situation worse. What is needed is a way of bringing rents under control, without punishing tenants – what is needed is rent control. Due to the recession, [...]

Students’ union letting agencies – Part of the Solution?

After two long years, the project that has dominated most of my Vice Presidency of Queen’s University Belfast Students’ Union has come to fruition – the creation of ‘SU Lets’, a student-focused ethical lettings agency, that finally opened last week. The details of how we got here are long and gruelling. From early beginnings as [...]

Can You Trust Your Landlord With Your Personal Details?

If you live in rented housing, then there’s a chance that your personal details are being stored and shared without your knowledge. It has recently emerged that landlords have been setting up websites to share records about their previous tenants, effectively giving them the ability to create a blacklist. An episode of the Radio 4 [...]

A call for a Tenants’ Movement

Housing is one of the defining issues of our generation. Not only have sub-prime mortgages triggered a financial crisis that has led to high unemployment and austerity measures, but it’s also becoming more difficult to find a decent and affordable place to live. With social housing in short supply, and many people priced out of [...]

Occupy Belfast create ‘The People’s Bank’

Royal Avenue, Belfast’s main city centre thoroughfare, mixes classic architecture with more obviously new arrivals. On the corner of Royal Avenue and North Street lies a grand, art deco building that used to house a branch of the Bank of Ireland and the (long-gone) Belfast Stock Exchange. Having laid silent and bare for over a [...]

A very British problem, or, how I learned to stop worrying and love renting

Better reguation of landlords, not a rush to greater owner-occupation, is the answer to tenants’ woes, says Norwich City Councillor Samir Jeraj in a response to Alyson MacDonald’s ‘Case Against Landlords’.

The case against landlords

Let’s face it: nobody wants to live in private sector rented accommodation. This is the type of housing which provides the least secure forms of tenure, and where the worst living conditions can be found. If you rent your home from a private landlord, you’re almost certainly not there by choice, but because it is [...]

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