Activists in a body called the London Renters Union has returned to the theme of calling for tenants to not pay rent, at least during the Coronavirus crisis.
Seizing on a comment by the the National Residential Landlords Association saying that “those who can should continue to pay their rent”, the LRU now claims this is an implicit green light for tenants who declare themselves unable to pay to simply refuse.
“The voice of Britain’s landlords has implicitly admitted that tenants who can’t pay rent, shouldn’t. Landlords are the only people in our society who benefit from renters being forced - by the threat of eviction - to pay for rent rather than food and other essentials” says a spokeswoman for the LRU.
“So if even landlords can’t defend that catastrophic situation, it’s clearer than ever that it has to end. The idea that all renters can negotiate an acceptable deal with their landlords is laughable, when we know that many have been thrown out onto the streets in the middle of a pandemic” she continues.
“The government must suspend rent during this crisis, cancel rent debt, and make the evictions ban permanent. Until they do, renters will take matters into their own hands. That’s why we’re encouraging renters to join us in not paying rent so they can afford food and other essentials.”
Earlier this week we reported that the LRU was using a mailing list of the Labour-backing group Momentum to win recruits.
The LRU launched its Can’t Pay? Won’t Pay! campaign over the weekend, and in a statement says: “Renters have already begun pledging to withhold enough of their rent to meet their other basic needs, like food. Others will also be able to join the campaign in solidarity, including by signing up for eviction resistance training.”
The LRU has not responded to our emailed query for information on “eviction resistance training.”