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Anti-agent activists want £10k to create app to 'mobilise' supporters

An activists’s group which in the past has held protests immediately outside letting agents’ offices is appealing for £10,000 to develop an app that can call individuals together if there is an “emergency”.

Acorn, which sometimes describes itself as a union, has been the subject of many stories on Letting Agent Today; last year it protested outside a Bristol agent’s office because he declined to sign a pledge document put to him by the group, while in 2017 it held a demo outside the office of another Bristol agency which it alleged levied “unfair” fees on tenants.

On its website it says: “From day one, Acorn has taken-on dozens of rogue landlords and letting agents. Through direct action we have successfully fought unfair charges, won repairs, and stopped evictions.”


Now it wants to raise £10,000 on the Crowdfunder website to create an app which would call its supporters together in what it describes as “an emergency” - an as an example in the pitch for funds, it suggests “unfair evictions” could fall into that category.

“If a member is experiencing an emergency - like being harassed in the street or threatened by their landlord - they can open the Acorn Red Alert app and hit the emergency button.The app alerts other members to the emergency situation and broadcasts the location of where help is needed.Members responding to the emergency can also broadcast their location to show that the union is on it's way.”

As of yesterday evening it had raised under £3,000 of its target £10,000; here’s a video made by the group explaining what it wants the app to do.


  • Roger  Mellie

    I can just imagine the vile fascist hate mob that'd turn up and start throwing its weight around, intimidating landlords and agents baying for blood and screaming all kinds of hoopla.

    Paul Smithson

    The mob has taken over, fortunately I’m near retirement and moving overseas in a couple of years.
    The government, court system, law and order & the NHS is fekked, this in turn is making the people of envy angry and this is what this lot are stirring up.

  • jeremy clarke

    Unfair evictions? What are they? By the time a tenant has got to the point of being evicted, a highly paid, very qualified judge has looked at a case and decided that the tenant has wronged, the judge has issued a possession order which the tenant has defied. The landlord, having spent money getting to this point now has to spend more money and wait for court time so that another highly paid, very qualified judge can confirm the tenant has wronged and issue another order permitting the landlord to spend more money to employ the services of a bailiff to visit the property to get possession from the tenant that had wronged! The only unfair bits in the equation are, the time and money the landlord has to spend to get HIS/HER PROPERTY BACK FROM FROM AN ERRANT TENANT !

  • icon

    Absolutely, a complete lack of understanding or willingness to accept on their part

    S l
    • S l
    • 21 June 2019 17:49 PM

    Its call play dumb so it benefits them

  • icon

    All it needs is a fake random call or a revenge and an innocent agent/landlord could be dangerously targeted . Plus, if every situation is investigated by the group prior to action, why an emergency button?

    S l
    • S l
    • 21 June 2019 17:48 PM

    It doesnt even need a fake revenge call. All it takes is the council collecting information on LLs and target them for full or empty council tax despite availability of exemptions for students or single occupancy by law. They make false statement knowing they will be supported against LL honesty and voila, off to court claim full amount for full occupancy no single occupancy discount no student exemption.

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    • 21 June 2019 08:15 AM

    Can we have an emergency fund for LL when tenants default on their rent possibly causing bankruptcy.
    Only RGI saved me from bankruptcy and homelessness.
    Tenant defaulted on £10000 of rent.
    Will Acorn underwrite the LL emergencies!!!?....................no thought not.
    Acorn are scum pure and simple.
    Eviction should not need to be enforced.
    Tenants should comply with statutory notice period.
    Only the law allows them to remain rent free until eviction occurs.
    The law is simply wrong in rent defaulting cases.
    Tenants should be booted out by police once 2 months of rent arrears have occurred.
    That means 1 month and 1 day.
    There should be NO requirement to attend court to boot out a rent defaulting tenant

    James Robinson

    I couldn't agree with you more however the government don't want to house evicted tenants so they make it hellishly hard. I have some scumbag tenants subletting in central London yet Dutton Gregory (ARLA approved solicitors) have advised me that as long as they are paying rent, there are no illegal activities and they are not be antisocial or aggressive to the neighbours, we have less than a ten percent chance of successfully evicting via a Section 8 notice and even if we did win it is doubtful we would get our costs back.
    So it appears that the 150 laws and 400 regulations we are governed by are there to protect tenants and the government to our and our clients detriment.
    I do hope Boris comes through on at least one or two of his promises.

  • James Robinson

    Stuff it I'll chip in £10k to develop an app that can call individual estate agents together if there is an “emergency”. In fact I have a few right now with AirBnB subletters. I'll supply staves and sandwiches.

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    • 21 June 2019 09:41 AM

    If every LL contributed £1 per month to a LL fighting fund then any LL suffering rent arrears could apply for the rent arrears and costs involved to be granted from the fund.
    My last eviction was about 5 years ago but I would gladly contribute £1 per month to a bailout fund for LL with rent defaulting tenants.
    As a LL you just never know when it could be YOU that are the victim of a wrongun tenant.
    £12 per year is a pretty cheap insurance policy!!!
    Govt would hate such a LL fund as it would mean LL wouldn't suffer losses through rent defaulting tenants and they don't want that to occur.
    They want LL to experience losses to deter them from remaining or entering the PRS.
    Just imagine £2 million pounds every month!!
    So why not a crowd funder at £1 per month from each LL.
    There are apparently over 2 million private LL in the UK.
    Do you think they would miss £12 per year!!!??
    Especially as they would qualify for assistance if they contributed the £1 per month.

     G romit

    If considered a business expense then it'll be a lot less net of tax especially if you're hit by Sec.24.

  • icon

    Tenant from hell shamelessly destroys rented property causing £20,000 damage
    21 June 2019
    1127 Reads 11 Comments
    By Marc Da Silva

    Tenant from hell shamelessly destroys rented property causing £20,000 damage
    A private landlord in the Staffordshire was left horrified after nightmare tenants trashed her property and turned it into a drugs den.

    Jean Fox had to spend £20,000 on repairs and cleaning the property after it took five months to get the nightmare tenant evicted.

  • icon

    If they washed their hair, had a shave and got themselves a job they wouldn't need to crowd fund.

  • Andrew Hill

    What's wrong with sending a text message? Are they doing a shelter and ripping off the general public so it looks like they're doing something decent?

  • James B

    Why don’t these people go and Get themselves a job !
    I’m sure shelter will fund their requirements

  • icon

    Anyone calling rent-a-mob on me will find themselves on the wrong end of a 999 call to the police and a claim for harassment. None of these people are anything to do with the contractual agreement so are completely irrelevant. If they turned up unannounced and started shouting the odds I’d be sure to evict the tenant and see to it that they got the blame!

  • icon

    WhatsApp is free.


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