The London Renters Union (RLU) will hold a day of action next week demanding that the government acts to protect renters, irrespective of whether they have been impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic.
The day of action, which will take place on Monday 24 August, will include protests outside Gee Street Magistrates Court at 10.30 am and Stratford Magistrates Court and 12:30 pm.
Thousands of renters have already signed up to the LRU’s ‘Can’t Pay Won’t Pay’ campaign, which is training renters on how to deal with threats of eviction, and how to resist eviction.
A number of MPs have warned that England could see “a new wave of homelessness” when the evictions ban ends on Sunday.
The ban was introduced in March as part of emergency legislation to protect those hit financially by the pandemic.
New evictions in England and Wales had initially been suspended until 25 June, but the pause was extended to 23 August.
Amid fears that evictions may lead to more homeless, 21 MPs have joined forces to lobby the government to guarantee council funds to house rough sleepers for 12 months.
The Labour-led Welsh government has doubled the notice period required for evictions issued on or after 24 July to six months, excluding cases relating to anti-social behaviour.
The Scottish government has proposed extending its ban on evicting renters until March 2021.
Zara Haqani, a spokesperson for the LRU, commented: “The government promised that no one would be made homeless because of Coronavirus, so why is the government refusing to extend the evictions ban? They should be cancelling rent debt and scrapping ‘no fault’ evictions.
“Instead, they are aiding and abetting landlords like mine. My husband and I can’t afford the rent, but our landlord is threatening our family with eviction in the middle of a pandemic. We try to shield our children from the stress and misery, but sometimes it’s just not possible.
“That’s why we’re resisting. At the London Renters Union, we are sharing skills and advice on how to stop your landlord trying to evict you, and how to resist eviction if the bailiffs do turn up.
“When the courts reopen on the 24th, we will be protesting outside to shame this government and their landlord friends, and to show solidarity with renters being kicked out of their homes.
“On Monday they will be made homeless in the middle of a pandemic, but on Tuesday it could be us.”
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