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You think you are not going to be homeless anytime soon? Think again.

London Renters Card

London Renters Card

You think you are not going to be homeless anytime soon? Think again by Chris The Plumber

Long story short . . .

My partner and I split up, it happens and I wish her well. That’s not special, it stung a bit at the beginning but we all have those stories and they make us who we are. Nuff said.

Going back two years . . . (insert scooby doo wobble swipe) We rented a small one bed flat together in Walthamstow, we were very happy to get out of a shared house and be together in our own place. Our combined income, me as a Teacher and her as a Political/Environmental Campaigner for a not for profit organization wasn’t much but it covered the rent and we made ends meet.

Move on 18 months . . . (wobbly woo, wobbly woo) I got overwhelmed by my workload Teaching plumbing to East London Teenagers and Ex Offenders etc and decided to go back ‘on the tools’ and get a job being a plumber again . I managed to do that and in line with my qualifications and experience it pays quite well. I got a 60% increase in salary straight away and a whole bunch of stress was lifted from my shoulders. . .
Then we split up . . . I say that not to elicit sympathy but just to give the timeline. It happened at about the same time and that is coincidence.

She moves out, of course she does. However, can I make the rent or do I have to move out and downsize as well?

No. To make the rent, the agents tell me I need to be earning £28,000 pa. I earn comfortably more than that.I don’t want to go into details here, but the agents have my payslips and have been in contact with my HR Dept. They know how much I earn. I can afford the rent.

They have charged me £300 to be reassessed and £60 for renewing the tenancy, this I have paid on top of the rent!! ( I have paid those btw)

Now they tell me I have failed the assessment and have started court proceeding to get me evicted, for which |I will have to pay their legal fees and court costs.

Today I just found out they cancelled the contract with my Electricity supplier and switched it to another supplier without my knowledge or permission . . .WTF! I am looking through my tenancy to see if non payment of utilities is legal reason to break the agreement and so to have me evicted on a technicality! I am not up on contract law but as far as I am aware, if I enter into a contract with someone whether an individual or company, that’s it. That’s who get to say it’s over or not. A contract between two parties is legally binding and you don’t get to barge in and change it because in doing so there is the potential for you to make money in other areas.

If I stayed here, they get more or less nothing from me. A modest rent increase but no fees. If I am evicted they get Court Costs, Legal fees, my deposit is basically shot. They get finders fees for finding a new tenant(s) inventory fees, credit checks on the new tenant(s) etc etc. A shit load of money for no work. Put a one bed flat in the window of an estate agents in E17 it will be snapped up in a week. You don’t even need to take a photo, just use the one you put in before.

This has to stop. This is not fair, just or right. I know I am not going to win this but I am not going to roll over and have it done to me. I am calling out to all my friends and fellow activists who I have stood shoulder to shoulder with on so many other issues over the years to stand with me once more and show these people up for the shysters they are.

I don’t know what form or what timescale this will take, but it is probably quite soon and would be some kind of occupation/protest/sit in. Please show your support by liking and sharing this post.

Many thanks

Chris the Plumber

A day spent with the London Renters playing Monopoly April 2013


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