Renting a room with Fortis is not as fabulous as you might expect after reading their publicity. Problems such as water leaks, overcharges, deposit theft and lack of hot water for weeks are quite common in most of their accommodations throughout the UK. Management’s policy is to ignore maintenance issues for many weeks to reduce costs. Over the last six months students have been sharing, on social media, issue like this with Fortis accommodations in Glasgow, Sheffield, Chester, Sunderland and Nottingham. In Nottingham, Fortis was suspended from the National Code assured standards, a scheme aiming to make landlords maintain a minimum set of professional standards.
In Chester, four tenants started a campaign against Fortis demanding compensation for the damage caused for leaks. Initially, tenants’ complaints were ignored and they found themselves being passed from pillar to post. Solidarity Federation became involved when one of the tenants was referred to us in May. helped the tenants plan and arrange a number of pickets and phone blockades during June and July. These had the effect of forcing Fortis to recognise the tenants’ complaints and to shift their position, upping their first compensation offer twice, after initially offering nothing. So, at the end of July, we concluded our dispute with Fortis Student Lettings positively with the four tenants involved receiving a total of £832.00 in compensation.
SolFed is trying to create a solidarity network between workers and tenants, to fight back against troubles with our bosses and landlords. If you are having issues with Fortis and want to speak out about it and try to improve your living conditions, you can contact us. We are always looking for people willing to campaign against injustice through direct action and solidarity.
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