One of the Greater Manchester Law Centre’s core principles is that everyone has a right to a secure home. We work with other community groups to campaign for tenants’ rights and to end homelessness.
In September, our housing solicitor Kathleen Cosgrove provided legal advice to members of the renters union ACORN, who were having difficulties in their block of flats around the corner from our premises. These tenants were organising together to challenge various problems with their fees, contracts and security. We were able to advise on their rights and they went on to produce a demands letter and organise publicity actions.
ACORN have produced a summary of developments in the last week, including a 35+ strong picket organised outside their estate agent and winning concessions in negotiations. We are pleased to have supported renters enforcing their rights and we look forward to working with ACORN and other community housing groups going forward.
Action summary by ACORN renters union:
Last Saturday 6th October, members and supporters of the renters union ACORN picketed Ascend Properties’ Deansgate office. The action came in support of members renting in a tower block represented by the company, who are in need of urgent security repairs that have been requested repeatedly for the past year (specifically the blocks front door, which had a compromised key code that remains unchanged for months, and weak enough magnetic locks that it could simply be pulled open with enough force)
Two weeks prior to the event, ACORN representatives and tenants from the block delivered a letter of demands to both Ascend and the blocks management company Centrick. Both companies only responded the day before the event, and Ascend accepted a request for negotiations on the day.
The results from the negotiation are promising, with some security issues resolved and a meeting with Centrick and local police arranged in the coming weeks.
In addition to our 35+ strong picket, members of ACORN Birmingham and supporters in Nottingham held solidarity actions at Centrick’s offices in their respective cities.
More about ACORN: