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Activists encourage more than 2,500 households to withhold rent

More than 2,500 households have agreed not to pay rent thanks to a campaign, launched by the London Renters Union (LRU), which encourages people to withhold payments to landlords amid the Coronavirus crisis. 

The activists are calling on tenants to withhold their payments to landlords, in an attempt to generalise a growing rent strike movement.

The LRU is demanding that the government suspends rent for the duration of the crisis, cancels rent debt, and makes the eviction ban permanent. 


Those who have signed up to the campaign online are attending action meetings where they are sharing skills and information about how to tell their landlord that they will be withholding rent, how to demand landlords write off rent debt, including providing them with the LRU’s template letter, which has helped dozens of renters gain a rent reduction, and how to resist evictions. 

Renters are also being informed about the risks of withholding rent and their legal rights as a renter.

Zara, an LRU organiser from East Ham who facilitates parenting courses for a local authority, said: “Because of lockdown, this month I’ve earned less than half of what I normally do, so it’s been impossible to pay the rent. We’re not eligible for furloughing, self-employment support or Universal Credit. Our landlord already wanted to evict us, and now he’s trying to get us declared bankrupt.

“I don’t want my children to be worried that they might lose their home. I want to protect them from this.

“So now we’re going to use the LRU’s letter to tell our landlord that we can’t pay the rent. I’m talking to others, asking them to get involved and refuse to pay rent, so they can buy food, medicine and things like that. 

“We’re sharing skills in how to refuse to pay rent, and how to stop ourselves being evicted. Thousands of people have already joined our movement - and now we are being heard. It’s really giving me hope.

“But right now, the government is prioritizing landlords’ profits over renters’ survival. It must suspend rent, cancel rent debt and make the eviction ban permanent. Otherwise we’re headed for a chaotic rent debt and eviction crisis.”

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    If I were operating in London, I would be serving notice immediately (even with the temporary notice period extension) and they’d be out on their ear the moment I could get into a Court. They’re holding you to ransom anyway, so just a case of disposing of them as quickly as possible.

    They always view it as the haves and have nots. Why should a landlord stomach any of this? Simply because, in a tenant’s view, they ‘have’ more? They might have 95% borrowing on the property, so in all reality have far less than some tenants! Why not call for a loan, tenants? Perhaps on similar terms as the BBL ones??

    Oh yeah…that’s because you don’t actually wanna pay at all.

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    • 01 June 2020 10:06 AM

    Correct...And I have done just that on 2 of them......
    I cannot wait for 25th June.
    Paperwork in place, and I am sure they do not believe it.

    Well...for sure on the 26th of June when they realise, they will choke on their Weatherspoon's cheap burgers and beer, - just as I open my Dom Perignon and caviar.

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    So they eventually if you lucky get evicted this year. Then what happens - nothing they do the same to another landlord. All non paying or tenants damaging the property are warned that ALL letting agents and landlords in the county will be advised of their actions. Effectively blacklisting them. This works makes them see sense. We don’t have many other weapons fellow LLs


    Yes if only we could have a black list online so we could quickly check

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    Incidentally, the LRU are calling for people to break the law and should be shut down.


    perhaps the landlord associations should take this up with CPS?

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    • 01 June 2020 12:41 PM

    It must be illegal to deliberately encourage people NOT to pay rent?
    If not, there should be...


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