As courts re-open, Britain’s renters must confront the power of landlords

18 August 2020 — Open Democracy

“Alas, many middle class people are now invested in this relationship of domination.”

London Renters Union twitter.

There was a moment, just after the declaration of lockdown, with the immediate loss of jobs and hours, when it seemed that a rent strike might be inevitable. Many members of London Renters Union thought there might finally be a moment of unity between renters affected by the pandemic that could be leveraged into much greater power against landlords. When evictions were temporarily suspended some members grew even more excited: for once private renters did not have the sword of Damocles hanging over them. This was the moment to strike! Others had a similar idea and Rent Strike London was launched, pulling ahead of London Renters Union, necessarily slower-moving as a large democratic organisation. For a week or two it felt like we might get the biggest rent strike going in British history.

UK: The Tenants Taking on Their Billionaire Landlord

29 July 2020 — Novara Media

Somerford grove

by Sophie Hemery

@SophieHemery

Jordan Osserman was knocking on doors in his east London apartment block in late April, asking his neighbours about their rental situations during the pandemic, when he noticed he was being filmed by a security guard hiding behind a stack of boxes. A few days later he was holding a banner saying “food not rent” when he noticed that, once again, he was being filmed.

Continue reading