Our dispute against YPP Lettings has been closed after the tenant accepted an improved offer, a reduction in rent of 22% (or £660). The letting agency made an offer before any direct action was needed, although we had declared our intent to undertake such action.
Liverpool Solidarity Federation was contacted by a tenant of Gravity Residence. Due to the pandemic she had to move back to her family home, leaving behind all her belongings in the apartment. Since then, she had tried to reach a sensible agreement with YPP to finish her tenancy earlier. The YPP position was unreasonable, they offered a shameful 5% deduction from her total amount if she paid all the amount by the beginning of April.
Liverpool SolFed started to support the tenant and in conjunction with her sent a demand letter. At first, YPP ignored the demand letter and kept in their position. Unfortunately, the position of the agency did not change during the upcoming days, even though the tenant offered different solutions, and their last offer was just a repayment plan.
Liverpool SolFed then started a public dispute. The idea was to reach other tenants in the same position and ask them for their support and involvement. We always think that union makes us stronger. Unfortunately, at this stage no more tenants joined the dispute.
After we had written an article, but before the campaign had properly started, YPP offered the tenant a 22% (or £660) reduction in rent. The tenant was satisfied with this offer and we decided to cease the campaign.
We think this is quite a good deal, because it satisfied the tenant. We are glad to support other tenants in the same situation and we think this dispute demonstrates that agencies are not being honest when they say they cannot offer discounts while their properties remain empty. Considering the campaign didn’t start in earnest, we feel that we could have won a bigger reduction from YPP and that YPP can clearly afford to make reductions, or even cancel contracts, and are simply trying to profit off of the crisis.
YPP quickly conceded here just from the threat of direct action. Elsewhere rent strikes have seen a resurgence, in Plymouth alone over 200 students have gone on strike. Now is clearly the time to fight back against landlords and other pathogens.