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Almost 19,000 families became homeless after being evicted by a private landlord in 2015-16. A rent strike may provoke even more – but what else can people do when the alternative is to starve?


It will end badly, of course.

Here’s the story:

It states: “More than 2,000 London tenants whose incomes have been hit by the coronavirus crisis are refusing to pay rent as part of a growing rent strike movement.

“The “Can’t Pay? Won’t Pay!” campaign, organised by the London Renters Unionc (LRU), comes after hundreds of students across the UK began withholding their rent because of the crisis.

“The LRU say 2,500 people have pledged online to withhold enough of their rent to meet their basic needs including food and bills during the pandemic.

“It comes after the New Economics Foundation thinktank recommended that private rent should be suspended for three months from May to help around 1.2 million at renters at risk of losing their jobs during the pandemic who could miss out on government support schemes.”

Now consider this:

Even if the title is a joke, it symbolises an attitude.

Private tenants are disposable.

Landlords don’t care if they’re starving.

And if they withhold their (overpriced) rents, they’ll be out on their ear, to be replaced by someone who can.

Landlords never seem to care that sometimes nobody can afford their rents; eviction is the threat they hold over tenants to make sure they pay up, no matter how harmful the cost.

Will the Covid-19 crisis, and the fact that nobody has much cash, make a difference?

Watch this space.

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