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.

June 27 – Join the #CantPayWontPay Day of Action

14 June 2020 — London Renters Union

Good news! The government has announced a 2 month extension of the eviction ban. Renters getting organised helped make this happen. 

This extension is the first victory of the Can’t Pay Won’t Pay campaign, but we have so much more to win. We still need the government to cancel rent debt and make the evictions ban permanent, so that all renters are safe. The government should end the benefits ban on migrants, and the government must end the racist Right to Rent legislation that means people have to prove their migration status when starting a new tenancy.

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