London Renters Union assemble coalition to fight for a private sector #RentFreezeNow

London Renters Union calls for a rent freeze this winter

Homes for All supports the LRU action and we are pleased to see so much support from a wide range of political figures, trade unions and think tanks for the open letter to Michael Gove.

We continue to seek to work together with LRU and other housing groups to fight for a rent freeze for both public sector and private sector tenants.

LRU press release, 23 February 2023:

  • Trade unions, the Mayors of London, Greater Manchester, and Liverpool, the Green Party, think tanks and other organisations have joined London Renters Union (LRU) in calling for Michael Gove to freeze private rents.
  • 1 in 2 private renters nationally are struggling with housing costs, with 4 in 5 London renters hit hard by unaffordable housing.
  • Read the open letter here.

Thursday 23 February: Trade unions, the Mayor of London Sadiq Khan, Mayor of Greater Manchester Andy Burnham, Mayor of Liverpool City Region Steve Rotheram, leaders of the Green party, think tanks and charities have signed an open letter calling on Michael Gove to implement a Scotland-style freeze on private rents and an eviction ban to tackle the current rental crisis. 

As wages hit a near 20-year low forcing half a million workers to strike earlier this month, rents continue to skyrocket at record rates. 1 in 2 private renters nationally are struggling with housing costs, with the situation even more severe in London. LRU members reported average rent rises of £3400 (20.5%) in December, nearly double the 12% national figure. 

Millions trapped in an unaffordable private rental sector are forced to cut back on essential spending or face the threat of homelessness. Evictions are on the rise, as landlords use no-fault section 21 to force out tenants unable to accept unaffordable rent rises, still legal despite the government’s 2019 promise to abolish the clause.

The NEU, RMT, CWU and UNISON are among the unions to throw their support behind the call, whose members are being squeezed by falling pay and rising housing costs. The open letter states that a temporary freeze on private rents is the best policy to address the scale and urgency of the current affordability crisis. The government must also abolish unfair evictions and introduce the long-overdue Renters Reform Bill to improve housing standards. The letter was also signed by Mayors and council leaders in Hackney, Newham, Brent and Wandsworth.

LRU launched a campaign in December calling for a rent freeze, after Scotland’s tenants union Living Rent won a similar commitment in Scotland. Public support to bring back rent regulations is mounting with the Mayor of London and other local authorities calling for devolved powers to introduce caps on unaffordable rent rises.

Kirsty, LRU Member, says: “As a teacher, my pay has not risen in line with inflation, and the 5% offer from the government does not cover rising rents and the cost of living. After my last landlord tried to raise the rent, I had no choice but to move further away from work. I was soon signed off sick due to the stress of the move and the increase to my commute. Now, only one year into our new tenancy, our landlord has asked for another £1200 in rent. I feel like I’m back to square one.”

Bekah, LRU Member, says: “After refusing a £100 rent rise in our previous house, our landlord evicted us and listed the property for £300 more. We felt sad, angry and like a great injustice had happened to us, but it was all completely legal. We were forced to move to a significantly more expensive house and now we are facing a rent rise once again. We are already anxious about our food shop and energy prices, and this rent rise will only add further stress. I feel very precarious right now and a rent freeze would give me some peace of mind.”

Liam Miller, LRU Spokesperson, says: “Millions are being squeezed by falling wages and rising rents. The government has the power to protect people from unaffordable rent rises, but it is choosing instead to preside over a wild west rental market that is punishing the people who kept the country going through the pandemic. A rent freeze now is the only way to address the scale and urgency of the crisis, and would represent a step towards a stronger housing system that meets everyone’s needs.”

For more information, please contact:
James Vail, Press Officer

Lively protest at Dept of Levelling Up demands #RentFreezeNow

Rent Freeze protest 11 Feb 2023 (pics Debbie Humphry)

A crowd of housing activists, tenants, workers, union and trades council representatives and anti-poverty campaigners gathered outside the Department of Levelling Up on Saturday 11 February 2023 to demand a rent freeze across all rental sectors to be funded by central government. The move had broad-based support, including from Action for Fire Safety Justice, Defend Council Housing, Homes for All, SHAC (Social Housing Action Campaign), Movement for Justice, FueI Poverty Action, Ealing Housing Co-op, Islington Trades Council and a Grenfell Community Campaigners.

There was an open call to speak and a mix of personal stories and political analyses vividly demonstrated the urgent need to follow in Scotland’s footsteps of legislating for a rent freeze during the worst cost of living crisis in decades.

Messages of support and solidarity to the victims of the earthquake in Turkey and Syria and to the asylum seekers in Knowsley, Merseyside were both warmly received.

Having learned from the Scottish example, the campaigners are clear that the rent freeze needs to be funded by central, not local government, in order to avoid an adverse impact on councils’ capacities to fund housing repairs and services. The rent freeze also needs to be across all sectors and accompanied by a service charge and eviction freeze, along with radically improved private rent regulations to ensure affordable and secure tenancies.

Following the terrible tragedy of the Grenfell fire, in which tenants had warned of a disaster but been ignored, there were promises of change but the speakers at the protest made it clear that this had not happened.

Alex Considine spoke of how Newlon Housing Trust had failed to respond to tenants’ calls to fix the damp in her block of 54 flats in Islington North in which children were sleeping next to black mould, which had caused herself and many other tenants to suffer from pneumonia over the winter. Water has infiltrated the building’s infrastructure over the last eight years to the extent that the electrics are breaking down and the intercom and lifts no longer work.

Alex says “People are dying. You can hear the water coming out and you can see the black mould bubbling from the water stacks. It’s now gone through so much of the building into the infrastructure, so it’s not just in the apartments, it’s in the hallways, it’s in the corridors, it’s in the communal spaces.”

Yet despite this appalling record, Newlon Housing Trust have been given permission to develop a new ‘Barnsbury’ estate in Islington. Even with threats of legal action, the housing association is only addressing the symptoms not the cause, decanting residents to ostensibly fix their apartments but failing to address the root of the problem, the faulty water stack, and even returning mouldy cabinets to the flats.

We are constantly told by the government that there is not enough money to fund decent and affordable housing, but as Joanna, from Action for Fire Safety Justice, pointed out, the CEOs of Clarion, L&Q and Guinness housing associations, respectively, are receiving annual salaries of £400,000, £328,000 and £245,000.

Clarion, the UK’s largest social landlord, has also seen fit to appoint former Conservative housing minister Gavin Barwell, to their board of Directors, despite the fact that the House of Lords found him to be in breach of the code of conduct due to registration issues with a consultancy business he runs. No surprise then that Clarion tenants are on a partial rent strike, as yet again housing associations are failing to listen to tenants living in appalling and unsafe conditions.

The housing system is broken, with the wrong kind of housing being built for profit. Tenants are evicted from affordable homes so that they can be developed into expensive rental accommodation, which is now the only tenure available for young people on low and median incomes, who are forced to compete with each other for private insecure tenancies that can take up half or more of their wages.

One protester told us that her daughter had found a modest one-bed apartment in Tottenham listed at £1200 per month, only to find the rent had already been raised to £1300 by the time she phoned to confirm the viewing. As the speakers made clear, this underlying housing crisis can only be fixed by a mass council housing building programme, security of tenure extended to the private rental sector and rent caps applied across all sectors.

It was heartening to see the broad-based support, but not surprising as so many are affected by housing being treated as a commodity for profit rather than a basic human need. Everyone supported a coming together of workers, tenants, unions and campaigners – “We need to build coalitions and stand together” – to demand safe, secure, affordable housing for all, as this is the bedrock of all we value – community, work, family, security and mental health.

More pics on H4A Facebook here

Fuel Poverty Action at Rent Freeze protest

Trade union leaders and MPs back Rent Freeze Day of Action 11 February

We were pleased to receive support from Dave Ward, CWU General Secretary (above), Mick Lynch, RMT (Left), Ben Selby FBU, Onay Kasab, UNITE, Zarah Sultana MP and of course Jeremy Corbyn MP who also agreed to speak on our demo in London.

With 2 weeks to go, we are asking everyone to help build the demo.

Haringey and Southwark Councils have now announced 7% rent increases – this is the maximum proposed by the Dept of “Levelling Up” and which sets a worrying precedent. Swindon Council has plumped for 5%, far short of the rent freeze we are fighting for.

We are calling on the Trade Union Movement and Local Authorities to support the Day of Action to Demand a Rent & Service Charge Freeze.

🔰 Leaflets and documents can be found for the day of action can be found here

📩 Email the leaflet to your local Trade Union, Housing Group and Local Authority.

🚩 Join us leafleting on Saturday 1st Feb, national strike day – in London meet on church stairs at Portland Place outside the BBC at 11am.

📢 Homes for All has booked a table at the TUC and Stand Up to Racism ‘Fighting for anti-racist workplaces’ conference at SOAS, Thornaugh St, London on Saturday 4 Feb at 9am. Can you be there? email

More details about the Homes for All Rent Freeze Day of Action

Ben Selby, FBU
Onay Kasab, UNITE
Zarah Sultana MP
Jeremy Corbyn MP

Housing groups and trade unions call rent freeze Day of Action – 11 February 2023

#RentFreezeNow day of action called by LRU, 3 December 2022 (Outside Foxton’s Wood Green)

Join us in London or call a protest in your local area

Saturday 11 February, Assemble 12 noon
Department of Levelling Up, 2 Marsham St, London SW1P 4DF

  • Rent Freeze Now! – Service Charge Freeze Now! – Stop the Evictions!
  • Demand the Government funds a rent freeze!

Download the Rent Freeze Day of Action Leaflet here

As the social emergency intensifies, more and more of us find it harder to cover the basics – living on poverty wages and inadequate benefits. In many places rents are rising faster than inflation, private landlords force prospective tenants to pay for viewings and tenants in social housing are faced with a 7% rent rise in April 2023. We came together to protest at the Department of Levelling Up in October and we supported the London Renters Union and Greater Manchester Tenants Union on their Rent Freeze Day of Action on 3 December.

Homes for All invited housing groups and trade unions to a Round Table to talk about what we could all do next. We were joined by representatives from Defend Council Housing, Social Housing Action Campaign (SHAC), Grenfell Community Campaigners, UNISON, the New Economics Foundation (NEF), UNITE Community, Action on Empty Homes, Fuel Poverty Action, University of Manchester Rent Strike, Southwark Group of Tenants Organisations (SGTO), Disabled People Against Cuts (DPAC), NASUWT, Deputy Leader of Islington Council, Labour Campaign for Council Housing and others.

The group agreed to call a Day of Action on 11 February 2023 to demand a rent freeze and call attention to associated housing issues such as poor conditions, mould, reduced services and fire safety. A letter has been written to Michael Gove, Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities to demand that the government fund a rent and service charge freeze.

This demand builds on the example from Scotland where the Cost of Living (Tenant Protection) Act was passed on October 2022,  freezing rent until March 2023, with regulations allowing an extension until March 2024. This is a fantastic win for Living Rent Scotland, shows the impact of political pressure from the housing movement and also how the Labour Party, who proposed the policy, can support a 0% rent rise. We also welcome Sadiq Khan’s call for a rent freeze for private renters and a rent rebate for social housing which in effect is a rent freeze.

Facebook event: London Demonstration- please share

Download the Rent Freeze Day of Action Leaflet and template local leaflet here

There will be a Tweet storm on Tuesday 24 January (9am -11am) to build for the Day of Action. If you would like to take part in the Tweet storm and be sent Twitter assets please email

Use these hashtags: #RentFreezeNow #ServiceChargeFreeze #StopEvictions #FundRepairs

Contact us to support the rent freeze,  join the Day of Action on Saturday 11 February 2023 in London or to organise in your own area

Join London Renters Union to demand a rent freeze this Saturday 3 December

Rent freeze protest October 2022

London Renters Union are stepping up the action for a rent freeze on Saturday 3 December. Homes for All expressed solidarity with LRU and all private renters facing massive rent rises at a time they can least afford it. We want all housing campaigners to gather in a united fight for a rent and service charge freeze across the tenures.

Scotland’s tenants have already won a rent freeze and even London’s Mayor is asking the government to allow him to implement a rent rebate.

There are six actions in London this Saturday 3 December. Please do your best to join one!

LRU says “Landlords and estate agents are using the cost of living crisis as an excuse to put up rents. They’re out of control. Renters are fighting back and demanding a rent freeze.”

Join your local action, 3 December:

Brent: 12pm, Willesden Green station

Lewisham: 11:30am, Vicar’s Oak entrance to Crystal Palace Park

Hackney: 12pm, the platform on Mare Street next to Hackney Tap

Haringey: 10:30am, Pret A Manger, the Mall, Wood Green

Newham: 12pm, Stratford Station, opposite the old shopping centre

Tower Hamlets: 11am, Roman Road market

For more details, sign up on the LRU website:

“No change, No accountability. No Charges.” Grenfell United calls for campaigners to keep going

FBU Grenfell honour guard, 2021

Grenfell United bereaved families and survivors have responded to the closing statements at the Grenfell Tower Public Inquiry.

The survivors say that the government was warned countless times of the danger to human life through deregulation, but they turned a blind eye and let corporates game the system.

Not a single recommendation from the phase 1 report has been implemented.

The survivors say, ‘The Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea treated us like second class citizens. They refused to invest in Grenfell Tower for 30 years, and when they did they wrapped it in petrol.’

‘This phase might be over, but the battle for justice is not, and we will continue until those culpable are prosecuted.’

Homes for All sends our solidarity to the survivors and bereaved and we remain committed to the continuing fight for justice.

The Grenfell United statement is copied below.

Join the #HousingBloc on the Peoples Assembly demonstration Sat 5 November 2022

Housing bloc on the Peoples Assembly Demo

Meet at 12 noon
Saturday 5 November
Cleopatra’s Needle at the Embankment

Join Homes for All, Action for Fire Safety Justice and other housing campaigners on the Peoples Assembly demonstration. We are forming a bloc at the start of the demo and will be marching together.

Bring banners and signs!

Our demands are

✔️Secure & Safe housing for all
✔️Rent & Service Charge freeze now
✔️Requisition Empty Homes
✔️Justice for Grenfell

Housing Bloc Facebook event

Day of Action exposes scandal of empty homes

The Campaign Against Empty Homes highlighted the half a million empty and underused homes in an online rally with live streams from community campaigns across the London.

Speakers in the studio included Paula Peters from DPAC, Rachel Maskell MP and Jeremy Corbyn MP who appeared a second time at Pentonville Prison empty flats in support of Islington Homes for All. Support also came from John Bird of The Big Issue, The Green Party, Phoebe Watkins from UNISON and the North Devon and Torridge Housing Crisis group.

Campaigners, including in Southwark, Waltham Forest and Lambeth staged protests outside empty homes.

Speakers spoke about the importance of carrying on the fight, including joining the #housingbloc with other housing campaigners on the Peoples Assembly demonstration on 5th November 2022.

Watch the online rally on YouTube

Watch the online rally on Facebook

Lambeth protest 22 Oct 2022
Southwark protest
Wandsworth protest
Kensington protest

Take part in the October 22 Campaign Against Empty Homes Day of Action – here’s how

On Saturday 22 October we have a national online rally with national and international speakers from 12 noon to 1 pm taking place on Youtube and Facebook and we will also be live streaming from local campaigners into the rally with local protests about empty and underused homes

What you can do to help make the day a success:

Promote the day / Join an Action * Take action in your area * Join the online national rally. 

1. Promote the day of action on your social media – please share details about the day of action on your Facebook page, Twitter and other social media. Action on Empty Homes or Homes for All Twitter feed and Facebook page is one place to start. 

2.  Join one of the local actions that are taking place – you will be able to find details of where, when and how here early next week. Local action is expected to take place in Southampton, Westminster, Southwark, Seaford, Islington, Kensington and Chelsea, Waltham Forest, Lambeth, Haringey, Newham, Brighton, Horsham, Wandsworth.

3. It is not too late to plan an action in your area – you do not need large numbers of people to make the point – we can supply you with posters and leaflets if you need them (or you can make your own) but you must get your order in next week. You can see the materials here: They are an A3 poster, A4 leaflet and a double-sided A5 leaflet.

Taking a photo outside an empty block of flats or building that people could live in, or sharing a short video of how your community has been hit by short lets or second homes is good enough. Let us have them so we can put them on the website. Email us at

4. Live stream your local action – we can bring you right into the studio to show everyone watching your protest taking place – it is not difficult to do – we can let you have details of how to live stream your action.

5. Join the online rally at noon. We will have national speakers from The Big Issue, The Green Party, Peace & Justice, People Before Profit (Dublin) the labour movement, DPAC, and others, plus international speakers who all have things to say about why we need to bring empty homes back into use and stop housing from being used as investment vehicles rather than homes to live in at a time of mass homelessness. It will be broadcast on Action for Empty Homes Youtube and Homes For all Facebook.



Campaign Against Empty Homes Campaign Team