Like many renters, a few months ago my family and I were made to leave our rented home after the landlord served a section 21 notice to evict us. Our only fault was to complain about the chronic damp that had badly affected our health and damaged our property. We used to come downstairs to find slug trails on our carpet. Rather than fix the problems and give us a home fit to live in, the landlord chose to end our tenancy. We were faced with the cost and disruption of finding a new home, a few months before our daughter sat her GCSEs. Our landlord chose to serve us with that notice on October 24th – I’ll leave you to work out the date when the two months expired.
When I told our story on social media, I realised we’re not alone. All over Kent, renters are struggling with insecure and poor-quality housing, with the knowledge that you might only be a few weeks away from losing your home through no fault of your own. Renters told me they’re afraid to report poor conditions or rogue landlords, for fear of losing their homes. We’re supposed to be protected against revenge eviction now, but if local councils don’t enforce the law, it’s not worth the paper it’s printed on.
That’s why I decided to start the Kent Renters Union and why I want you to join us. I firmly believe that we’re stronger when we stand together. I want us to expose local councils who don’t uphold the law to protect renters from poor conditions. In a few weeks the Tenant Fees Act will ban many of the huge fees that renters can be charged when we’re looking for a new home or renewing our tenancy – we should name and shame landlords and lettings agents who flout the law.
Most importantly, we need to know we’re not alone and that we support one another.
If you agree, please join the Kent Renters Union today.
Kent Renters Union