Activists with a record of opposing agents and landlords want a blanket ban on rent rises and evictions in the current virus crisis.
Acorn - which in the past has had its local groups picketing outside and inside agents’ offices - says government must “protect all tenants against the economic impact of an outbreak” of Coronavirus.
Acorn’s online petition to the government has won some 5,500 signatures and demands:
- Enacting a temporary rent freezes for renters suffering with the virus or self isolating for the period of their self isolation and recovery;
- Announcing an emergency freeze on all current section 21 or section 8 evictions;
- Announce an emergency freeze on evictions of housing association and council tenants;
- A pledge that any period of time spent in self isolation or ill with Coronavirus will be disregarded in section 8 hearings and not counted in the ‘over 2 months of arrears’ threshold.
Acorn also threatens “to fight landlords that attempt to evict tenants for non-payment of rent as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak.”
Acorn has for some time been taken an aggressive approach to its campaigning, especially towards agents.
LAT recently reported that Acorn protestors targeted a Lancaster agency alleging problems over a student tenancy - it appeared to have been the wrong firm according to local media reports.
A spokesman for the Mighty House agency told local media in Lancaster: “Acorn Communities have taken it upon themselves to protest against Mighty House. However, Mighty House is an estate agent and not involved in the letting of student houses and therefore the protest was levied against the wrong company ... They entered the Mighty House office and filmed two young female members of staff in an intimidating way, causing considerable upset, which resulted in the office being closed early.”
Acorn denied intimidatory behaviour.