Tenants Union's campaigns are at the heart of what we do. They're powered by people like you. Designed by you. Because we know that housing justice for renters will happen only if we bring tenants together. To campaign for the changes they would like to see.
There are lots of ways for you to get involved with Tenants Union campaigns. From campaigning in your community to lobbying parliament, the opportunities are varied. Below, you’ll find all the info you need on current campaigns, including our #YesDSS campaign or #FairBnB campaign, and ways you can get involved.
End Section 21 evictions
Section 21. What is it? It's the Number One cause of homelessness. It lets landlords evict tenants without giving a good reason. No wonder that both renters and people working in the housing rights sector hate this piece of legislation.
It's the reason why a tenant can pay their rent on time and do everything they're supposed to and still be evicted in the click of a finger. They can be asked to move out with just two months' notice. It's the reason why there is so much malpractice and shocking, unsanitary and dangerous conditions in the private rented sector. If a tenant kicks up a fuss, they're shown the door.
We can't go on like this
Renters are not inanimate commodities to be profited from - they are real human beings who need homes. A place to belong. If the government repealed Section 21 and gave more rights and protections to the tenant, it would give all of us more of a stake in our homes and communities, and the confidence necessary to make reasonable requests for repairs.
It's time to show Section 21 the door
We are working with the wider UK housing rights movement to end Unfair Evictions in England by abolishing Section 21. The campaign has a petition on 38 Degrees, which summarises what the various organisations involved are aiming to achieve:
At the moment, the government is looking at how they can make renting more secure in England. They could change the law, so people who rent can only be evicted if there's a valid reason. That would mean millions of families will have the security of knowing they won’t be forced to move at a moments notice and the security necessary for communities and families to flourish. We call on the UK government to give renters in England stability and certainty in their homes by abolishing Section 21 of the Housing Act 1988. We demand change.
How to support the campaign for renters rights
Sign and share the petition so we can show the government the strength of feeling against Section 21 no-fault evictions. When you share via email or social media, don't forget to include a quick comment to explain why this issue is important to you personally.
Together we can make revenge evictions history.
Help us stop DSS discrimination
Unjust and potentially unlawful prejudice is widespread in the lettings industry. One in three renters receiving housing benefit haven’t been able to rent a home due to discriminatory practices. These range from advertising vast numbers of properties as ‘no DSS', to total bans of people on housing benefit.
Leading letting agents are excluding renters on housing benefit, even when they can afford the rent. It’s completely indefensible and pushes people closer to homelessness.
Bad old fashioned discrimination
Operating blanket bans against people who claim benefits isn't just immoral, it's most probably illegal too. Evidence shows that people who claim benefits are more likely to be disabled people or women than not. This means that so-called "Dss" discrimination unfairly impacts on women and people with disabilities, which is potentially unlawful indirect discrimination under the Equalities Act 2010. It must stop.
We've been campaigning since 2018 to #EndDssDiscrimination. Take the story of Joann, a member of Tenants Union.
Last year Joann went to meet Andy Burnham, Greater Manchester Mayor, to ask him to publicly challenge discrimination against people on benefits. She won a great victory when she convinced the Mayor to speak out before the press against letting agents and landlords who operate this blanket policy.
We also picketed Bridgfords, a letting agent in Manchester found to be discriminating against people on benefits. When our activists picketed their shop and engaged hundreds of members of the public passing by outside, both agreed with us that "Dss" Discrimination has no place in a civilised society. No wonder Bridgfords management were keen to negotiate with us! And after we mentioned the Equalities Act and indirect discrimination, they started making promises to change their policy. But there are many more rogue agents out there still operating blanket benefits bans.
It's time for letting agents, lenders, and landlords to say, "Yes Dss"!
But there is still a lot we have to do to force this issue to its rightful conclusion.
Our campaigns are designed by you. Powered by you. One of our most popular campaigns - #FairBnB - was started by TU members in Moss Side, Manchester, after whole streets of Airbnb letting houses started appearing in the neighbourhood, causing chaos and pushing up rents.
Soon, lots of other members started to speak out. Tenants as far afield as London and Glasgow. Swamped by illegal holiday-lets. Stag do's wrecking the street. Hen nights falling in. Double parking. Overflowing rubbish. Rising rents. Their complaints were met with the same brush off.
Don't let the rogue hosts ruin it for everyone
Airbnb, short for “airbed and breakfast”, originally sold itself as a way for travellers to stay in people’s spare rooms. This idea is still present in the company’s vocabulary – “hosts”, not landlords – even though the vast majority of its listings are now for self-contained apartments or houses. In some parts of some towns, they've now taken over whole streets: causing chaos and pushing up rents.
Our members aren't against people who rent out a room or a flat for a few nights. They're concerned that Airbnb are turning a blind eye to the rogue hosts who set up "illegal hotels" on the platform – not the spare room stays it was intended for.
The rogue hosts shouldn't ruin it for everyone. Big money shouldn't ride roughshod over local residents' concerns. So what can be done?
YOU HAVE THE POWER TO GET CHANGE
Our #Fairbnb campaign is an opportunity to get real change by cracking down on people and businesses that abuse platforms like Airbnb.
It's simple. We don't need to rewrite the rulebook. Councils just need to enforce the law. If an Airbnb host is operating an illegal hotel, the council must close it down.
In Manchester, our campaign has already received the backing of the City Council and several local MPs. But there is still much to do.
If enough of us take action and make our voices heard by singing our petition, other local authorities will have no choice but to take notice.
It's time local authorities cracked down on Airbnb.
Build Social Housing Now!
The housing crisis is now a national emergency. It cannot be stopped by anything less than a national movement for change. The situation is becoming worse every year, with many private renters saying they struggle to cover housing costs and pay their bills. The number of social homes being built is at its lowest for 70 years, and we face a chronic lack of housing that people can afford. But right now, we have a unique opportunity for change and we must take it.
Quality social housing will make a difference
Millions of people are being failed by the housing market and live with the fear and stress of not being able to afford to pay the rent. Even worse, they’re often at the mercy of private landlords who can evict them with virtually no notice.
Quality, social housing could make a huge difference to people’s lives, meaning families could put down roots, and live without the stress of being forced to move home.
Social housing provides the stability of a permanent home, and the chance for millions of families to lead lives where their children are safe and happy.
But as a recent report by housing charity Shelter on the future of social housing makes clear, with 1.1 million households on the social housing waiting list – and many more in need of it – there isn't nearly enough.
We have an opportunity for change right now
This year, the government will undertake its comprehensive spending review. This is one of the biggest opportunities for decades and will determine whether funding is made available for new social homes.
Right now is our once-in-a-generation chance. We must act and put pressure on the government to commit to the social housing we so desperately need.
Together, we can turn this crisis around
Help Stop The Social Homes Sell-Off