When: Saturday 27 April, 12 noon
Meet: outside Turnpike Lane tube, Green Lanes, Haringey, N15 3NX
We will once again be taking to the streets of Haringey to inspect local Letting Agents as part of a day of action across London.Six months ago, on 6 October 2012, local housing campaigners became ‘Community Housing Inspectors‘ to investigate our local letting agents and uncover the unwelcome practices they are engaged in. On Saturday we are carrying out further inspections to find out if any of our demands for changes have occurred. Where they have not, we will be providing a ‘Cease and Desist Order’* to letting agents found to be engaging with greedy and anti-social behaviour. The ‘Cease and Desist Order’ will only be revoked if they put an end to such practices.
These unwelcome practices include:
- Discriminating against housing benefit claimants
- Charging extortionate fees to prospective and existing tenants
- Encouraging short term tenancies to maximise renewal fees
- Inflating rents
Until 1988 most private tenancies were secure and long term, and rents were capped by law at affordable levels. Fees are extortion and outlawed in Scotland. Discrimination against benefit claimants should be illegal under equalities legislation. If you’ve had enough of such dodgy behaviour, come along.
Bring hi-vis vests, clipboards and pens if you want to take part in the inspection or just come along to support others and let everyone else know what we’re doing. We will have leaflets to hand out with our demands (see below) on.
Over 20,000 households in Haringey rent their homes from private landlords, and about half of these are claiming housing benefit. The greedy and discriminatory practices of letting agents are a huge problem for Haringey as well as London as a whole.
- Bring rents down! According to a recent report, one in five landlords had increased their rents because their letting agent had encouraged them to. This was five times as many who had done so because of increased costs.
- No discrimination against people on housing benefit
- Remove all fees for tenants: ‘agency fees’, ‘reference checks’, ‘admin fees’ and ‘leaving fees’ are all costs that have been created over the past few years by and for letting agents, to increase their profits and exploit tenants’ basic need to find a home
- Longer and more secure tenancies
Tweet your support:@haringeyhousing #letdownrenters
Organised by Haringey Community Housing Inspectors (members of Haringey Housing Action Group and Haringey Private Tenants). For more information, email firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com
We believe: everyone is entitled to a decent, secure, affordable, local home.
We demand: bring rents down – stop discrimination and fees – bring back security of tenure
* “A cease and desist order is an order or request to halt an activity (cease) and not to take it up again later (desist) or else face legal action. The recipient of the cease-and-desist may be an individual or an organisation.” [Wikipedia]