Affordable Housing for All – public meeting Sat 26 May

May 20, 2012

In opposition to Government cuts to housing benefits, we demand…

Calling all private tenants in Haringey:

  • Is your rent too high?   
  • Do you get enough Housing Benefit – has it been cut?   
  • Do you want to see affordable housing for everyone, and rent-reductions (instead of evictions) for those unable to pay?

Come and find out about your rights and what you can do to stand up to your landlord. All private tenants and those wanting to support them are welcome.

Saturday 26 May, 2pm-4pm
Information stalls * Know-your-rights sessions * Discussions about what can be done
Includes refreshments & a small toddlers play area

The Problem

The Government has cut the level of housing benefit for thousands of Haringey private tenants (especially hitting people under-35, those with large families, and those in anything but the cheapest 30% of available tenancies). Unless greedy landlords can be forced to lower their rents, then these people and their families face eviction, and possibly being unable to afford anywhere in the borough.

What Rights Against Eviction Do Private Tenants Have?

  • A tenant who cannot afford the rent could try to negotiate a reduced rent, and get support from other tenants, neighbours & campaign groups. We’re aware this will not be easy. If a landlord wants to evict they must first issue a valid Notice To Quit – e.g. it will not be valid if they have not put your deposit in an official protected scheme.
  • If a landlord tries to evict illegally, or to harass a tenant to go, they are committing a criminal offence. Log all contact with landlord and keep all paperwork. Get advice. Contact the Council’s Housing Advice Team and your local housing action group for support. With few exceptions, there can be no eviction without the landlord going to court and seeking repossession.
  • If there are any mistakes in the landlord’s paperwork a judge can reject it. The court can also give an extra six weeks if there is ‘exceptional hardship’ – and some tenants are arguing in court that an eviction would infringe their legally protected human rights to family life.

What Will Be Discussed?

  • How can private tenants get together to support each other, know their rights and find the strength to stand up for themselves?
  • What rights do tenants have if they can’t pay or won’t pay high rents?
  • How can we encourage people to support private tenants in defending their homes and their rights to a home, and in opposing evictions?
  • What pressure can be put on landlords to get them to lower their rents?
  • Should we be demanding a maximum-rent level / rent-capping as existed up to the 1980s?
  • Is there a need for a Haringey Private Tenants Organisation or Action Group?
  • What should the Council do to support such tenants and to provide homes to anyone made homeless?
  • What can be done in the long term to campaign for longer tenancies and security of tenure agreements?

Let’s speak out, support each other, and organise to fight for our collective interests!

Contact about the event:   0208 216 9651

Housing info:

Includes briefings on: ‘Cuts to Housing Benefit – The Facts’, and ‘Non-payment of Rent – Your Rights’

Event supported by Haringey Housing Action Group, Haringey Solidarity Group, Haringey UNISON, Day-Mer, Haringey Federation of Residents Associations, Haringey Alliance for Public Services, Haringey Defend Council Housing, The National Private Tenants Organisation

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