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Written by rosalind renshaw

Protesters held an ‘inspection’ of local letting agents on Saturday to draw attention, they said, to high rents, short-term tenancies, discrimination against housing benefit claimants and agents’ high fees.

The protest apparently resulted in some agents shutting their doors while it was taking place.

The demonstration was held in Green Lanes, Haringey, London, by the local housing action group and other activists belonging to Haringey Solidarity Group and Haringey Private Tenants Action Group.

Of nine agencies visited, five reportedly refused to allow the 20 self-styled ‘community housing inspectors’ access or to speak to the protesters.

The five named on Indymedia UK were Winkworth, Kings Group, Bairstow Eves, Brian Thomas and Anthony Pepe.

Four unnamed agents agreed to answer the group’s questions, including whether they accepted housing benefit tenants; how many months of deposits they require; what charges they make to tenants; and what is the longest tenancy period they offer.

According to Indymedia’s report: “The protest felt like a huge success.

“We managed to gather information that will be of help to prospective tenants (the information will be made publicly available) and we put across our demands to the letting agent staff, as well as to hundreds of passers-by, many of whom told us of their own bad experiences of local letting agents.

“We also shut down a handful of letting agents, possibly the ones who felt they had more to hide.

“And we turned the tables on letting agents who carry out checks on our homes without permission.”

http://www.indymedia.co.uk/en/2012/10/501013.html

Comments

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    I think you might find that insighting a riot on the internet is a crime matey boy..

    BTW This is a post in reply to the other thread, it seems your story changes by the thread!

    • 11 October 2012 21:17 PM
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    Have enough money saved up (not gifted to me) to buy a property outright. I choose not to though because the market seems full of greedy Boomers who believe the properties they bought for three times the average UK salary is now worth eight times the average UK salary.

    Fortunately the interest on my savings pays the majority of my rent, whilst I don't have to worry about maintenance costs or building insurance.

    Tell us what salary multiple you bought your house for and what salary multiple you would sell it for today (average salary in the UK today is £25K). Then let's see who is being unreasonable.

    • 11 October 2012 14:12 PM
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    I have a fairly good grasp of what a mortgage is and as a result struggle to see how that is anyone's problem but the motgagor's or are you saying that with the exception of your nan no-one shold sell their house at its open marklet value, as determined by the members of society who have worked harder, achieved more or spent less than others.

    This is an envy thing isn't it? You area bit pissed off that your mortgage is a bit higher than it could be if we all sold our homes off cheaply.

    3 day old Polar bear poo! Tough

    • 11 October 2012 14:01 PM
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    "Gifted un earned equity through someone else's debt?"

    Clearly you've not realised that mortgages are actually made up of borrowed money...

    • 11 October 2012 10:46 AM
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    So your old nans house hasn't increased in value since 1945? best you get another valuation.

    What one earth do you think inheritance is if it is not the passing of accumulated unspent wealth to beneficiaries.

    Of all the thick things ever pounded into keyboard Rant not only do you take the biscuit you have run off with the cookie jar too!

    Gifted un earned equity through someone else's debt? stop spending your money on whatever you are sticking up your Snout/ Anus or into your viens. Have a big slice of cold Turkey and then re-read that stupid sentence again.

    • 10 October 2012 20:00 PM
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    You seem to be suggesting that inheritance and unearned equity are pretty much comparable. If you look into it closer, you'll discover that you're gifted inheritance through someone else's death and gifted unearned equity through someone else's debt.

    • 10 October 2012 19:29 PM
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    Yay the un earned equity bit again. tell your nan to shove your inheritance, give it to your sister or the her mate Bingo Betty, tell her what a greedy moo she is and how her refusal to die is keeping your generation living at home or paying through the nose to rent.

    Let her know how her liberalised attitude to sex bought about an explosion of greedy boomers like your parents

    Let's hope she has the good sense to slap your petulant ar5e.

    Just because the population voted for a morally corrupt and ineffective government doesn't mean that their woeful attempts to stave off recession were not the actions of a capitalist democracy.


    You have had your cheap credit, your free education and as much consumer product as any generation could ever want, it is just a pity none of you stopped to think where you are going to keep it all.

    • 10 October 2012 16:37 PM
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    A lot of predictable stereotyping / Daily Mail-esque views in some of these comments, but the award for most ignorant goes to Wolfy.

    "The UK is a Capitalist Democracy" - Nope – this country WAS a capitalist democracy, until it looked like house prices might fall. Everything including the kitchen sink has since been throwing at keeping a generation priced out of the housing market. Real capitalism would have seen irresponsible lenders go bust and the multitudes unable to pay their interest only / liar loan mortgages have to face the consequences of their actions. We are however light years from that scenario.

    Younger people in London have also been hit by foreign investors parking their cash in the capital's property. They are being further priced out through this and cannot compete with the financial resources of the global elite.

    "Students here are the facts, your parents generation did too much sex and there are now lots of you, when things are in short supply the price goes up. " Wrong. There are actually more Boomers than the generation below them, so demographically it’s not clear who will be buying all the family properties that many Boomers are currently trying to downsize from (a reckless immigration policy has however clouded this picture). The supply of credit is a much greater factor behind house prices than demographic factors any way.

    Compared to much of Europe, the UK has some of the least tenant-friendly legislation. That wasn’t such an issue when homeownership was on the rise. With that declining around 1% a year, it should be a greater priority though.

    I don’t condone violence, but with none of the current crop of politicians coming up with any sensible policies to assist the priced-out generation, I expect we will see much much more of this. One suggestion though - The Boomers could work longer and harder to make up their pension shortfalls, rather than expecting younger people to gift it them through unearned equity.

    • 10 October 2012 09:36 AM
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    For anyone who knows Green Lanes, most of the agents are run by back street cowboys who dont belong to a professional body!!

    • 09 October 2012 16:02 PM
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    Slightly confused (again!) some students set out to do some research and what seemed like reasonable questions.

    By paragraph 4 the investigation had become a protest with Agents being blamed for everything that isn't quite going their way.

    Students here are the facts, your parents generation did too much sex and there are now lots of you, when things are in short supply the price goes up.

    The UK is a Capitalist Democracy which means that most of us are happy that prices go up according to demand.

    You are students so you can participate in the big wage game, being skint is part of being a student.

    Why do Landlords (not their Agents*) decide whether or not to let to Students or DSS. Just be patient and look at the shit tip you have turned the place into by May better still ask your parents if they would rent a home to you if you were not their kin. Live like pigs, spend the rent on Beer and Razzle.

    (* look up the difference on the internet)

    • 09 October 2012 14:06 PM
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    @ steve - uhh, no?

    • 09 October 2012 13:50 PM
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    What a complete load of nonsense this item is, to wit:-

    "Protesters held an ‘inspection’ of local letting agents on Saturday to draw attention, they said, to high rents, short-term tenancies, discrimination against housing benefit claimants and agents’ high fees."

    Which oif these 4 capital offences is actually withing the control of agents? Only the last one (and this was London wasn't it?)

    "The demonstration was held in Green Lanes, Haringey, London, by the local housing action group and other activists belonging to Haringey Solidarity Group and Haringey Private Tenants Action Group."

    And who or what gives these groups the right to become the self opinionated champions of the downtrodden masses in their area?

    "Four unnamed agents agreed to answer the group’s questions, including whether they accepted housing benefit tenants; how many months of deposits they require; what charges they make to tenants; and what is the longest tenancy period they offer."

    This is just unbelieveable all any of them had to do was make an enquiry for a property (as opposed to joining some mob and invading business premises) and all of these questions would be answered for them - surely?

    "According to Indymedia’s report: “The protest felt like a huge success."

    How could it be anything else - no sense no feeling after all.

    “....we put across our demands to the letting agent staff, "

    OUR DEMANDS - who on earth do these people think they are? Maybe agents should tramp round and picket the local LHA office and demand payment on time etc?

    “We also shut down a handful of letting agents, possibly the ones who felt they had more to hide."

    More likely the ones who did not want their staff or customers intimidated by yobs

    “And we turned the tables on letting agents who carry out checks on our homes without permission.”

    What?!!!

    • 09 October 2012 12:51 PM
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    Everyone has the right to charge their own fee depending on how good they are. The agents that dont do the proper checks for their landlords (and pay the costs for doing so) don't need to charge higher fees. Everyone has a right to go and find a house privately and choose not to use an agent. We accept housing benefits but only for properties that landlords accept them, landlords have had their own experience in dealing with benefit tenants and its their choice to not want them in their own house where they have to pay the mortgage.

    • 09 October 2012 10:43 AM
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    @ ray comer. Didn't you just have a snipe at agents and governing bodies about them having a snipe at you!!
    Perhaps we would all do well to shut up and concentrate on doing our jobs well

    • 09 October 2012 10:09 AM
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    Why were these people not arrested for 'Disturbing the Peace' of specifically targeted businesses?

    • 09 October 2012 10:08 AM
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    Good observations Ray. I agree.A one sided article.

    • 09 October 2012 10:07 AM
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    I see that there are no comments posted as yet? It would be interesting to hear comments from the victimised agents involved in this. There are two sides to every story.
    As a whole the benefits system is the at fault party here. All participants in the letting history can equally boast of horrendous experiences with benefit tenants. The problem often stems from the handling of the tenants affairs by the benefits office.
    With this the last i heard we live in a democratic country where people are free to make independent choices at thier will? As such these "victim" tenants are free to not pay the fees involved and search at thier will at thier leisure.
    I personally would love to drive an Aston Martin but i don't go bitching into the showroom complaining about how expensive they are. I'm simply working my arse off attempting to own one! now there's a novel concept!!

    • 09 October 2012 10:05 AM
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    So why didn't they publish the names of the agents who did answer the questions? surely that would have shown the general public that there are agents out there who are open and genuine and...oh, I see why they didn't want to publish now.

    • 09 October 2012 09:16 AM
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