Shoulder to Shoulder – what we’ve achieved together so far this year

Ahead of our second All Member Assembly tomorrow, here’s 14 of the things we’ve achieved together since our first one in June 2019.

1. Resisting evictions

Harassment and illegal evictions are on the rise. Through direct action and peer support, dozens of our members have resisted eviction.

We’ve trained hundreds of people to prevent and resist evictions – we’ll be ready when bailiff evictions restart

2. Shaping the debate

Right at the start of Covid, we were one of the first to put forward that renters needed an eviction ban & no rent payments. Bosses and landlords should pay for the crisis – not us.

Sadiq went on to echo some of our demands.

3. Can’t Pay Won’t Pay

In May we launched our campaign to bring together renters who had faced eviction & rent debt.

More than 4,000 people signed up, we held 3 consecutive days of action, and we grew our network of renters ready to fight alongside each other & resist evictions.

4. Doctors speak out

We worked on an open letter signed by @TheBMA, @Medact and other leading public health bodies to highlight how the Tories have been prioritising landlord profits over public health and ramp up the pressure on the Tories.

5. Winning important concessions

Alongside others, we forced the Tories into extending the the eviction ban twice and introducing a six-month notice period for evictions. That’s nowhere near enough but we’ve shown renters can win when we’re organised.

6. Putting tools in the hands of renters

We made more than 400 calls to members facing housing issues and more than 60,000 people downloaded our template letter to ask their landlord for a rent reduction.

Time and time again renters have gained the confidence to win large rent reductions, avoid arrears, and stay safely in their homes by being involved in the union and using our resources. Together we can stand up to landlords and agents!

7. Victory to the Helm House renters

Before joining LRU this summer, our members at Helm House had their safety concerns ignored by landlord Clarion for five years. They got organised and took action with the LRU, forcing Clarion to negotiate and start making repairs.

8. Fighting for warm homes

In Jan our member Samira led a second action at the offices of her landlord One Housing’s HQ over the cold, damp and mouldy conditions of her home over the last 10 years. After sustained pressure One Housing recently committed to the repairs needed.

9. Dorchester Court

90 LRU members at Dorchester Court in Lambeth have been standing up to their Sunday Times Rich List landlord, winning important concessions on rent arrears, tenancies and repairs.

10. Somerford Grove

Our members at Somerford Grove have been standing up to their billionaire landlord John Christodoulou over evictions and rent arrears.
When their landlord tried to make our members homeless, we took the fight to his hotel.

11. Growing across the city

LRU members have started organising in Brent and Camden and in Tower Hamlets, where renters have launched a campaign against Rakesh Patel, a property tycoon who owns more HMOs in the borough than any other landlord.

12. Organising in different languages

Our new Spanish-speaking group had their first win this month – with a member getting repaid more than £500 of her deposit back with support of the group.

We’ve translated our rights info into 19 languages
https://twitter.com/LDNRentersUnion/status/1308717150530613249?s=20

13. Our membership has more than doubled!

Last year we got out the party poppers to celebrate reaching 1,700 members in eighteen months of organising. Just twelve months later and there more than 4,400 of us!

Hundreds of new LRU members have attended our Get Active training and got stuck in to our organising. It’s still early days in our path towards becoming a genuinely mass movement, but we’re so proud to be reaching more renters and increasing our collective strength.

14. Nurturing a community of care

Covid lockdown, job losses, inadequate government support, harassment by landlords, and the uncertainty of collective living arrangements have made 2020 a difficult year for so many of us. Aside from everything else, we’re proud that we’ve been able to be there for one another. Whether it’s been by offering legal advice, standing shoulder to shoulder outside letting agents, learning to organise together online, or just providing a phone-call to check-in, we’ve shown that we are a community based on solidarity and mutual care, and that we’ll do whatever it takes to support one another. We’ll enter 2021 with the same spirit.

JOIN THE LONDON RENTERS UNION

We’re a members-led, campaigning union and we’re taking action to make sure all Londoners have a decent, affordable and secure home. Join our community today and become part of the movement to transform the housing system.

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