Bring rents down – letting agents protest, Sat 6 Oct, 12 noon

Community Housing Inspection

October 3, 2012

Join us this Saturday, 6 October for a Community Housing Inspection of Haringey Letting Agents

We’ll be meeting at 12 noon at Turnpike Lane tube to investigate local letting agents and uncover unwelcome practices:

Community Housing Inspection•    Discrimination against people on housing benefit
•    Extortionate charges to prospective and existing tenants
•    Encouraging short term tenancies to maximise renewal fees
•    Inflating rents

We will name and shame any letting agents found engaging in such greedy behaviour.

We are demanding that letting agents…

Bring rents down
Housing is a basic necessity, like food and water. Actions, to maximise rental income, at the detriment of tenants, show this is forgotten. Housing is not a business like selling cars or renting holiday homes. Increasing rents for tenants above LHA rates leaves them with two options: struggle to pay the extra out of other benefits, or non-payment. Haringey Housing Action Group will support tenants in this situation. If letting agents or landlords begin eviction proceedings, we will support tenants through the lengthy process that will cost a landlord time, legal and court costs, possibly loss of rents and bad publicity.

Remove all bogus ‘fees’ for tenants
Letting Agents provide a service to Landlords and charge them for doing so – they should not take further ‘fees’ from tenants.  Agency ‘fees’, reference ‘checks’, admin ‘fees’ and leaving ‘fees’ are all costs that have been created in recent  years by and for Letting Agents to increase their profits and exploit the basic need to have a home.

End discrimination against people on benefits
More and more benefit claimants are being turned away from Letting Agents. This discrimination affects those people who are struggling most to find a home due to unaffordable rents and cuts to benefits. We will name and shame all letting agents who do not accept people on benefits.

Provide secure tenancies, for longer
Until 1988 most tenancies were secure and rents were capped by law at affordable levels. Tenants could stay in their homes for as long as-they wished without being forced out by landlords. Today, the reverse is more common, private tenants are given a six month  tenancy with few rights. This is not fair on the tenant, and is not good for stable communities. Tenants should be able to live in their chosen community and home, near schools, friends and family, as long as they wish.

Called by Haringey Housing Action Group, Haringey Solidarity Group and Haringey Private Tenants Action Group.

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