A campaign to clean-up letting agents resulted in a mop and bucket protest outside one firm’s offices in Brighton.
The demo alleged G4 Lets was offering a poor standard of service to students and demanded a meeting with owner Mark Shields to discuss how to improve the homes his agency offers tenants.
The protest was led by local campaigners Home Sweet Home and ended when Mr Shields agreed to sit down and discuss service standards with the group.
Home Sweet Home is an umbrella group for tenants, students and other organisations supporting tenant rights in the city.
The group has targeted other letting agents in the city over recent months, claiming to have uncovered poor business practises and living standards in Brighton’s private rented homes.
One Home Sweet Home campaigner Chris Henry said: “We got the result we wanted – a meeting with Mr Shields. Now we have to see what changes can be made when we have that meeting.”
Candice Armah, president of Brighton University Students’ Union said: “Thousands of students in this city live in bad conditions but pay thousands of pounds in rent for the privilege. This action is just part of a growing campaign to improve living conditions for students in Brighton.
Letting agent fraudster in court
Meanwhile, in a separate case, another Brighton letting agent was sentenced to 10 months in jail suspended for a year, ordered to pay £1,980 costs and to carry out 180 hours of unpaid community work for fraudulently claiming more than £28,000 in housing and council tax benefits.
Brighton Magistrates heard he lied to the council about paying rent to his mother.
Gill ran the Martin & Co letting agents in Edward Street, Brighton.