London Renters Union is planning protests outside county courts across the capital on 24th August – the day after the evictions ban ends in England.
The protest group wants members to join the day of action, when they’ll urge the Government to cancel rent debt and make the eviction ban permanent.
Since the crisis started, it claims membership has doubled, with more than 4,000 people joining its Can’t Pay Won’t Pay campaign, where renters pledge to prioritise essential spending instead of paying rent.
London Renters Union says: “The eviction ban will end and courts will reopen to hear possession claims on 24th August, that could leave 100,000 renters homeless.
No fault evictions
“The Government committed to ending no fault evictions over a year ago – our Covid rent arrears are not our fault. We won’t let the Government’s plans go unchallenged – we have to stand up for ourselves as renters, to protect each other, and to stop evictions.”
The union promises to make the protest Covid-safe, with social distancing stewards, protective equipment and safety briefings.
But it’s calling on more reticent members who can’t join in person to put up ‘banners of resistance’ near their homes, along with posters in their windows and to send in stories of their difficulty paying rent which will be read out at the court protests.
It adds: “The Government’s recklessness means our communities who have lost income due to Covid will be at risk of eviction and the health risks of homelessness during a pandemic. Half a million renters are in rent debt – even before the end of the furlough scheme. The Government is abandoning renters. We can’t let this happen unopposed.”