Last weekend Brigthton Solidarity Federation organised a protest against Youngs letting agency and in support of tenant facing a revenge eviction. The emergency action follows recent decision of a landlord of one of the properties managed by Youngs to evict a tenant after he asked for essential repairs of his home, and to be remunerated for repair works he had undertaken and paid for himself. The tenant, who has been organising with Brighton Solidarity Federation Housing Union, has had to live for years in unsafe, neglected accommodation, which has included a collapsing ceiling, damp, an uninhabitable bedroom, and poor exterior construction work. Instead of dealing with the repairs, the landlord, with support of Youngs, served the tenant with eviction notice.
The well attended protest took place last Saturday in front of Youngs offices on Upper St James Street in Brighton. Youngs’ response to demands for safe conditions for tenants was to call the police and to say that “people receiving housing benefit should get a job or be evicted”.
Last year, Brighton SolFed has started a public dispute with Youngs after two tenants have been organising in regards to structural damp, presence of severe black mould and overall dilapidation issues that created unsafe living conditions – dangerous to the tenants’ health – throughout their tenancies at two separate properties managed by the agency.
Along with the tenants, Brighton SolFed wrote to Youngs in November, explaining the issues and outlining options for redress. Youngs chose to ignore this letter and, despite a further contact from SolFed and the tenants highlighting the demands, the two-week deadline for their response passed. Consequently, along with the tenants, Brighton SolFed has begun a public dispute with Youngs. This began with a picket outside the branch on Monday 4th December, which recieved shows of solidarity from members of public and encouraged another Youngs tenant to contact SolFed to explain details of their own grievance with the agency, and several others shared similar stories of their past issues with Youngs.
Photo: Brighton Solfed