Bring rents down! Lobby the Landlords Forum Thursday 20th Sept

Join us to demand landlords bring rents down and stop discrimination against those on benefits.

At the Landlords Forum run by Haringey council
Thursday 20th September, 5.30– 6.30pm
Outside the Civic Centre, Wood Green, N22

Some landlords have agreed to reduce rent for tenants who have had their benefits cut following negotiations with the Council’s new HUB team which aims* to prevent homelessness as a result of benefit cuts; other landlords agreed to reduce their rent at the previous Landlords Forum when asked by us – Let’s try and spread this across the borough and bring all rents down to affordable levels to ensure noone is evicted due to inability to pay.

Join us to keep the pressure on by giving out leaflets and speaking to as many landlords and council staff as possible.

Also a reminder that the Housing Action Group are organising a demonstration against Letting Agents on Sat 6th October from 12 midday. Please keep the date free.

*many people have come to a HAG meeting after being turned away from the Council offices and not being given the correct advice.

Text from leaflet given out at previous Landlords Forum to landlords and council officers:

Housing, like food and water, is a basic necessity  Actions, by some landlords, to maximise rental income, at the detriment of poorer tenants, shows this is forgotten. Housing IS NOT a business like selling cars or renting holiday homes..

Increasing rents for tenants above LHA rates leave them with two options: struggle to pay the extra out of other benefits, or non-payment.

We are letting you know that Haringey Housing Action Group and Haringey Solidarity Group (along with supportive lawyers) will support tenants who find themselves in this situation.  If their landlord begins eviction proceedings, we will talk tenants through the lengthy eviction process.  A process which will cost a landlord time, legal and court costs, possibly loss of rents and bad publicity.  And the landlord won’t be getting the higher rent.

Landlords have a choice to reduce their rents to fair levels
Tenants don’t have this choice. Whether they pay the excess out of other benefits or opt for eviction, it will have a huge negative impact on that person.  Families in particular will suffer, with less money to feed and clothe their children. If evicted, it will mean upheaval for the family, with the breaking up of community and family support.  Thisan have a significant impact on a child’s health and education. Councils will incur costs, for giving advice and housing for tenants in priority need.

Where possible, we will publicise bad landlords around the borough in the hope to get tenants and the council to refuse to use them. In these days of social media, our jobs gets a lot easier.

When LHA was introduced, many landlords increased rents to the maximum LHA, artificially increasing their rent. Landlords will still make decent profits if they keep rents stable or lower them.  How much rent do you really need to charge? Is bad publicity and a long eviction process really worth it? Wouldn’t it make more sense reducing rents to affordable levels and not to evict?


Whilst we have no problem you meeting with landlords, we do have a number of questions:

Q    What are you doing to help tenants in the same way?

Q    What support are you giving tenants on housing benefit whose landlords refuse or ignore reducing rents to LHA rates?

Q    £500,000 was given to the council as part of the North London Housing Partnership – how exactly is this money being spent?

Q    What pressure is the council putting on landlords and letting agencies who are refusing to reduce rents to LHA rates?

While cosying up to landlords and letting agencies to provide more rental properties, there is just as great a need to support tenants. Especially as these are the hardest hit with reductions in other public services; cuts to other benefits; and losses of jobs and reductions in meagre wages.

These are some of our suggestions:

1. The council could be putting together presentations to landlords explaining the impact of paying excess rent out of benefits or being forced to move out of your home.  Groups like the Child Poverty Action Group could be invited to give a presentation to landlords
2. You could commit to covering court costs for all HB tenants facing eviction –  not just those in priority need who present to the council as homeless
3. Push/campaign for better rights for private tenants
4. Fair rent reviews
5. Don’t implement flexible tenancies under the recent Localism Act legislation
6. Produce a list of landlords and letting agents who raise their rents above LHA rates, won’t accept DSS, and refuse to do repairs on properties

September 18, 2012  Tags: ,   Posted in: HHAG ACTIONS, LOCAL CAMPAIGNS