The Acorn union’s aggressive tactics have strong-armed a landlord into paying her former tenants compensation.

Its Norwich branch is gloating after naming and shaming landlord Ruth Friedman on its Facebook page and including a link to her company so supporters could berate her directly.

The spat concerned Magdalena Meza Mitcher and Ben Skelton, who enlisted Acorn’s help in an attempt to get rent reimbursement and compensation for personal items damaged by mould in their three-bedroom house in Aylsham Road.

They told the Eastern Daily Press that due to a price dispute between the landlord and her letting agent, Pymm & Co, works to fix the problem weren’t carried out until January and were “inadequate quick-fixes”.

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£980 payment

Friedman has now paid the couple £980 while Pymm & Co has issued a written apology for her inaction. However, Friedman told the EDP she hadn’t paid because she agreed with the tenants’ claim, but because of Acorn’s “inappropriate” tactics and the way they attacked her professional life on Facebook, adding that she had already given the tenants a rent reduction of 20% for December and January.

She said: “I came to understand I was not just in a dispute with my ex-tenants but a well-organised national network with a vision to fundamentally change how property ownership is structured.

“As I am only a single property landlord, renting out my previous home in Norwich while I live abroad, I did not want to get caught up in their wider campaign.”

She added that she was very happy with her new letting agency, which had resolved all outstanding issues and better supported her new tenants.

Acorn members had also protested outside Pymm & Co’s office earlier this year, a move which the agent criticised during the pandemic.

Read more about Acorn’s activities.

9 COMMENTS

    • Totally agree.
      Can’t wait to be an ex-AST LL.
      Intend to become a lodger LL with one house.

      No stupid tenancy laws to prevent PROFIT being earned.

      These nutter groups are slowly but surely making LL sell up.

      I think these nutters are doing us a favour.
      Forcing LL out of a completely dysfunctional market is very helpful.

  1. Totally inappropriate, this would never happen the other way around. Bullying and harassment, Acorn should be ashamed and the police should be involved

  2. My company was subject to a campaign by Acorn. They jammed the phone lines of the office for days, calling constantly and reading from a script demanding monies for tenants. Long after any building issues have been dealt with. They will send demands for compensation beyond anything reasonable including future rent reductions during a tenancy where the rent had never changed from the day the tenancy was signed.
    They campaign to their members to leave negative reviews on all the major review sites, which even after resolution they cannot remove because they don’t know who they have championed to write them.
    They don’t realise that real people, like themselves work at these letting agencies who then suffer as they will collectively harass until their demands are met in full.
    They encourage tenants who after they become ‘members’ of Acorn not to talk to their letting agents and they communicate aggressively on their behalf. There is simply no negotiation and no removal or recognition of an agent or landlord righting any wrongs.
    There are always bad eggs, both landlords and letting agents, but this organisation is equally as bad when they boast of success on social media after an event and they have done damage to a small business who’s staff are afraid to walk to their car in a dark December night.
    It is utterly disgraceful as no one can be held accountable as their aim is ‘people power’.
    In our case even their own tenants were afraid of them in the end.
    And gave notice to vacate 3 months after all compensation was paid, reduced rent was agreed and actioned and more importantly 6 months after some minor maintenance was carried out to complete tenant satisfaction.
    Strap yourselves in if this bunch of students come knocking!

  3. I think they should buy some housing stock and show all PRS landlords how it is done, after all they know everything, right?

  4. Follow the money…. They are just making money for themselves on the pretence of helping others.

    Just as Gen rent pays 3/4 of its income not on tenants rights but on themselves in the form of inflated wages.

  5. This is essentially a form of terrorism, ie do what we tell you or else. Landlords who bullied their tenants like this would be in all sorts of trouble with the law. If it isn’t already illegal, the NRLA should campaign to get it made illegal.

  6. Facebook cowards are already a nuisance, bullying from a safe distance behind a fake name. I wouldn’t use antisocial media if you paid me, and any rude things written on it by jerks who probably can’t spell, are so dull I wouldn’t read them if you paid me either.
    Some of these people are in for a nasty reality check one day, when they find out that no one will allow them to live anywhere at all.
    Save the rhinos and sod the humans. There are far too many of us cluttering up this planet.

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