The industrial dispute involving Goodlord has escalated with protests outside agency offices using the lettings platform, and the creation of a critical Twitter account called - perhaps inevitably - Badlord.
Last week Goodlord told the industry press that it was “disheartened” that a group of employees within its tenant referencing team had decided to strike on certain days this month.
The Unite union, representing some 20 employees at the firm, says the company has a ‘fire and rehire’ policy within its London operation, seeking to re-employ staff on cheaper contracts at drastically reduced salary levels - from £24,000 to £18,000.
Goodlord has not denied the accuracy of the pay figures, although the firm says the proposed industrial action - scheduled for next week - involves fewer than the 20 staff claimed by Unite.
Now the Badlord Twitter stream’s profile says it aims to “expose bad employment practices and unethical ‘fire and rehire’ ploys of loyal and hardworking employees’.
One ironic Badlord tweet says: “Our mission is to ensure agencies and landlords are protected from taking bets on risky tenants who, for example, don’t pay their rent because their employer slashed their income by 30 per cent during a global pandemic. Just hypothetically-speaking.“
Another tweet from Badlord says: “We are an equal opportunity employer: we’ll hire anyone, even someone we have just fired.”
A video posted on the Twitter feed shows a protest outside the office of south west London agency Featherstone Leigh, which is a customer of Goodlord.
This morning a spokesperson for Goodlord told Letting Agent Today: "This is categorically not a 'fire and rehire' plan. Goodlord has taken steps to transition a large number of temporary staff on to permanent contracts which bring the security of full-time employment, the UK Real Living Wage, above statutory paid sickness and holiday leave, and access to bonuses.
"The small minority who chose not to move forward with the new permanent contracts offered were given several months notice of the changes, which included an extension on their temporary contracts so they could find alternative employment."
You can see the footage of the protest below: