If you are a private renter in London, you know how badly you are being exploited. If you are not angry, you should be – and if you’re angry, you need to do something about it. Three months ago I was a grumbling, unhappy renter with no history of political activism; this month I sat in a meeting at the Houses of Parliament with the Shadow Housing Minister. It is easier than you think to make a difference.
There are nine million private renters in the UK, and we are being denied basic fairness. Successive governments have allowed the emergence of a landowning class, who now act as feudal lords over a huge section of society. Rents are exorbitant, property standards are terrible, tenant rights are minimal. Many renters feel powerless to improve their situations, with no plausible chance of escape into home ownership or social housing.
So do something about it. Lend your voice to the grassroots movement campaigning for better conditions in the private rental sector. If you’re ready for action, you can be sure a local group already exists, or that there’s other like-minded people nearby wanting to set one up. Since becoming involved, I’ve been hugely encouraged by the passion, knowledge and expertise of these local organisers.
Here in Waltham Forest we’re pretty new, but we’re getting organised and becoming established. We have upcoming campaigns on gas safety, voter registration and the scandalous number of local councillors who are also landlords. We want you to be involved – sign up here. Ahead of the General Election in May we have an opportunity to make our issues heard. Now is the time to do something.