Generation Rent, the pressure group led by Baroness Alicia Kennedy, is tweeting advice to tenants on how to negotiate a lower rent.
A series of tweets starts dramatically by saying: “The rent is, beyond doubt, too damn high. But renters don’t always have to pay what the landlord demands.”
It then goes on through several social media posts to explain what tenants can do - apparently - to reduce their rent.
One post tells renters: “Your staying power is a very important part of a rent negotiation. Your landlord wouldn’t want to take a risk on an unknown tenant, pay to advertise the property, miss out on rent and then cover the cost of starting a new tenancy, all in the middle of Covid-19.”
It then says that the ending of the furlough scheme this weekend may see more renters on lower incomes and reliant on benefits.
“If you have lost income, your landlord may agree to a reduced rent” the group tweets. “Research other rent prices in your area and consider the condition of the property when discussing a lower rent.”
Almost inevitably some of the tweets make unattributed claims about landlords.
“We’ve heard from some tenants that landlords are asking for ridiculous increases - possibly to force them out without serving a Section 21 ‘no fault’ eviction. But they cannot do this without your agreement or a valid Section 13 notice.”
The campaign group then says in the final tweet in the thread: “Have you managed to negotiate a lower rent with your landloprd? Or have you been hit with a massive rent increase?” It asks tenants to tweet their messages with the hashtag #ventyourrent.