Easton residents fight back against rip-off tenancy fees and insecure contracts
Friday was the first action in our community campaign to end rip-off tenancy fees and insecure renting, and we gained plenty of media coverage. Two local letting agents have agreed to attend our public meeting on 3rd July but others weren’t so friendly…
On Friday, two groups of Easton tenants and residents visited nine local letting agents, delivering our petition and message, and inviting the agents to attend our meeting on 3rd July to hear our voices and justify their practices.
While two of them – Besley Hill and Piper Properties – are happy to attend, some refused to accept your petitions and one agent tried to lock us out of their shop! We hope they’ll change their mind and show they care about the community they work in, but we’ll take more action if not.
ACORN is determined to help end the rip off and housing insecurity and our action has now been covered by the Evening Post, Bristol 24/7 and was backed by Bristol Labour Parliamentary Candidate Thangam Debbonaire on BBC Radio Bristol (from 35mins in). Today ACORN members were also featured on BBC Points West (from 9mins in)
Our first meeting in May voted to launch this campaign because of the high proportion of private rental problems in Easton. In just two weeks we’ve got more than 700 signatures on our petition, demanding local estate agents drop their unjustifiable and exploitative fees, and provide tenants and landlords with more security.
Jake, an ACORN member, has said he is campaigning because he “couldn’t afford to pay letting agents tenancy fees” if he had to move. “To move into the house I live in now we had to pay nearly 300 pounds each in fees!” he says.
Another ACORN member has told us that she has had to move house four times in her five year old child’s life.
When letting agents are already paid by landlords for the service they provide to them, high fees charged to tenants are just an exploitative con. Meanwhile, rolling tenancy agreements give tenants just 2 months security and are frequently used after the initial 6 month contract has run out. As the number of young families forced to rent explodes, this insecurity intimidates people out of complaining about housing problems, or campaigning for better conditions.
Two local letting agents have agreed to attend our public meeting which will take place at 7pm on 3rd July at Easton Community Centre.
This is a chance to tell our stories and make the letting agents listen – so please click here to tell us you’ll come along!
If you haven’t done so yet, you can also sign our petition here.
Let’s win decent, secure, affordable housing for all!