This morning a bunch of us paid a visit to the National Landlords Association (NLA). The NLA represents more than a million landlords who collectively make billions from their tenants – and, through Housing Benefit, the public purse – by charging rip-off rents. The organisations also actively lobbies against better regulation of landlords, and encourages its members not to offer secure tenancies.
So our visit was to make it clear that we’ve had enough of runaway rents and poor quality, insecure housing. With a good turnout and no rain (hurray!) we headed down to their London office on the embankment to air our new banner and placards, make some noise and generally make sure staff and passers-by didn’t get away without knowing why we were there.
We were also there with cardboard boxes and sleeping bags to highlight how the Housing Benefit cuts compound the problem of high rents, increasing the risk of homelessness for private tenants. Crisis report that there has been a 39 per cent rise in tenants becoming homeless because their tenancies have come to an end.
With over 8m private tenants in England, we’re pretty sure we’re not the only people who are pissed off. Over the next few weeks we’ll be planning our next steps – and would love contributions from anyone that shares our aims. Get in touch with your thoughts at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow us @housingforthe99.