Brixton branch of Foxtons hires bouncers for rents protest

Tony Gosling tony at
Wed May 15 00:34:51 BST 2013

Brixton branch of Foxtons hires bouncers for rents protest
Written by Tim Dickens on April 30, 2013 in Community, Housing, News, 
Uncategorized - 11 Comments

Protesters and security guards outside Foxtons

Estate agents Foxtons hired two security guards on Saturday as 
protestors in Brixton campaigned outside against high rents.

Private tenants and members of the campaign group 'Let Down' 
undertook a 'Community Housing Inspection' in Brixton, visiting Eden 
Harper, Foxtons and Haart to question their charges and practices as 
part of a London-wide day of action against high rents and letting 
agents' fees.

While staff at Eden Harper were willing to answer the group's 
questions, Brixton new-comers Foxtons had hired private security 
guards to prevent the campaigners entering their office.

When asked whether a member of Foxtons' staff would come out to speak 
to the group, the protesters were told that no one from the lettings 
team was available, despite the group returning later in the 
afternoon. The protest ended with the protesters staging an 'awards 
ceremony' outside Foxtons, presenting them with a certificate for 
being 'Brixton's worst letting agent', accused of 'high fees, high 
rents, cowardly behaviour, and services to gentrification', and 
'celebrating' with party poppers, bubbly and a performance of a 
specially-written song.

Protesters present Foxtons with 'worst letting agent' certificate

Campaigner Daniel Oldfield said: "Despite the dismal state of our 
economy and the relentless cuts, rents keep rocketing up and letting 
agents are making things worse. They often actively advise landlords 
to put up rents and charge all kinds of fees, most of which have only 
emerged in the last few years in the so called 'competitive' marketplace.

"Short-term tenancies suit them because then people have to keep 
moving paying fees to renew them. This lack of security especially 
hurts families because children who move around a lot are more likely 
to struggle at school. Perhaps worst of all, hardly any privately 
rented rooms are available to young people on benefits, directly 
making more people homeless."

The private tenancy sector has grown in the last few years, as 
chronic underinvestment in social housing, the poor economic climate 
and an overcrowded housing market have meant that fewer people are 
able to access social housing or buy a house, and the number of 
buy-to-let landlords has soared. In particular, the proportion of 
families with children renting privately has rapidly increased.

The day of action was part of a London-wide campaign, which demands 
lower rents, an end to fees for tenants (which are illegal in 
Scotland), proper regulation of letting agents, no discrimination 
against people on housing benefit, and longer and more secure tenancies.
+44 (0)7786 952037
Fear not therefore: for there is nothing covered that shall not be 
revealed; and nothing hid that shall not be made known. What I tell 
you in darkness, that speak ye in the light and what ye hear in the 
ear, that preach ye upon the housetops. Matthew 10:26-27

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