The London Renters Union, which has so far refused to answer questions from LandlordZONE about its campaign, says the current evictions ban due to expire on June 25th to be made permanent.
More than 2,500 renters in the capital have vowed not to pay rent during the crisis and are swapping tips on how to square up to landlords.
The London Renters Union (LRU) boasts that its campaign and website cantpaywontpay.uk, which launched last month, has encouraged increasing numbers of renters to sign up and confirm that they’re prioritising essential spending instead of paying rent.
Some of them are attending campaign action meetings to share tips on how to tell their landlord that they’ll be withholding rent, as well as how to demand that landlords write off rent debt and how to resist evictions. Renters are also being informed about the risks of withholding rent and their legal rights.
Zara, a union organiser from East Ham, can’t be furloughed or claim benefit because of her immigration status, but says her landlord is expecting her to pay full rent. She explains: “We’re sharing skills in how to refuse to pay rent, and how to stop ourselves being evicted. Thousands of people have already joined our movement – and now we are being heard. It’s really giving me hope.”
An LRU spokesman adds: “Unless the Government makes that evictions ban permanent and cancels the debt that hundreds of thousands of renters now find themselves in, we’re going to have a really chaotic and nasty rent debt and evictions crisis when we get to the end of June.”
The union wants the Government to avert a crisis of rent debt and evictions by suspending rent payments for the duration of the crisis, making the evictions ban permanent, cancelling rent debt, introducing rent controls and ending migration status checks in the housing system.