There are countless horror stories from tenants from across Oxford. You most likely have your own to share. Discussing with other tenants, we’ve learned that landlords are unresponsive and uncaring, that they can break contracts without repercussions, that letting agencies are unable or unwilling to help, and finally that tenants without money or the legal expertise have no means to defend themselves. Therefore, workers and students have come together as tenants from across Oxford to begin demanding their rights and taking action. We’ve learned that we need more legal knowledge. We need better representation and further possibilities for action. We want to find alternative housing schemes for those who want them. And most importantly, we need increased solidarity with other tenants in the face of rent hikes and letting agencies/landlords, who care more about making money than about those who pay it, the tenants.
We are coming together as tenants to build Oxford’s first tenants’ union from the ground up, to collectively organise and to defend our rights.
What are we doing?
We are a group of concerned citizens who aim to build a mutual support network and safe space for renters in Oxford, the least affordable city in the UK.
Affordable, safe, habitable and secure housing is a human right (see UN declaration of Human Rights). We want to unit and build a movement for housing justice that makes this a reality.
Currently we are working in the following areas:
- Building a support network for renters: providing a space for tenants to come and share their problems in a safe space that offers solidarity and anonymity
- Providing information on renter’s rights
- Building a database around agents and landlords to rank their cost and quality to highlight issues around rogue landlords and agents
- Fighting housing discrimination, by standing in solidarity with those faced with housing issues and eviction
- Raising awareness on Housing Crisis
- Demanding from the government to enforce the law on landlords and basic Human Rights as per their commitment and engagement in the UN
- Developping new campaigns and actions relating to specific housing issues in Oxford
- Empowering individuals and building skills to take action on their own housing situations and to tackle the global housing crisis as a group.
At the meetings, we aim to identify common problems and struggles, and form specific working groups to tackle them. The meeting is for all tenants to get involved, participate and contribute, to make our voices heard and respected!