Tenant protesters disrupt landlords’ conference to make point about ‘hostile environment’

A conference held by the Residential Landlords Association was disrupted by demonstrators.

Some 30 protesters from the London Renters Union descended on the Future Renting conference venue, at Imperial College, complete with placards.

Their anger was apparently sparked by the conference being about the “increasingly hostile environment” for landlords.

A sarcastic tweet said: “Boohoo!”

One of the protesters handed over a cheque for £22bn to the RLA , saying that is how much private renters will pay their landlord next year in rents.

Another protester played the violin under an equally sarcastic placard which said “Save the poor landlord”.

Other placards complained about revenge evictions and stated that one in five MPs are landlords.

The London Renters Union continued to make comments on Twitter, including: “Apparently landlords were stuck inside for lunch and missed their lunchtime exhibition. We wonder what exhibits they had – ‘Six ways to get rid of tenants: 1. Hike up the rent . . .'”

Another tweet said: “The future of renting means housing for people not profit. End the politics and culture of property as investment rather than to house people”.

RLA policy director David Smith said: “It was a pity that the London Renters Union did not speak to the RLA before this protest as we would have been happy to invite a representative to speak and air their concerns.”

Vanessa Warwick of Property Tribes recorded a round-up of the conference, including news that the Government is reviewing selective licensing.

Her film includes footage of some of the demonstration. She said it had only “slightly marred” the event.



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  1. Robert May

    About 4.2 million private tenancies paying about £900 pcm average says someone got their maths wrong.

  2. Rayb92

    Guess the London renters union must be like shelter and want to push landlords out, but with no thought where tenants will go. Idiots with nothing better to do

  3. jeremy1960

    Uneducated bunch who cannot be bothered to do their research and just see red whenever the word landlord is mentioned.  Let’s hope that if their landlords see then on video they chuck them out of their properties with shelter’s telephone number scribbled on the paperwork because soon shelter will have to start housing displaced tenants!

    1. Robert May

      They’re not uneducated  and it’s not fair to label them as such.  There isn’t enough  accommodation for everyone who wants to live in London and that’s made worse by the fact London is a place that a lot of people want to visit for holidays or short term [shows, events or business] so a lot of accommodation  that would previously have been  PRS stock is now short term, low risk, high return AirBnB rentals.

      I have said for a very long time that housing  needs to be removed as a political football.  It is obvious that until there is a long term strategy that considers all of the pressure on all of the stakeholders and that strategy is given the time required to see it to fruition, one elected but industry inexperienced shadow minister will oppose the series of elected but industry inexperienced ministers’ attempts to resolve a  housing crisis that  won’t (ever) be resolved in the  short term of any one party’s tenure in Downing Street.


      The haves are very well catered for, the have nots are very well catered for but those in the middle aren’t. Until it’s  understood just what those  in the crossover between the private rented sector and the social rented sector have to cope with there will be a polarisation of opinion and there will be protest.




      1. Property Money Tree

        … their demonstration does not really help them though.

        They (tenants) will be better off if there are more landlords/housing stock out there.  

        I suspect that their demo might make undecided potential first time landlords think twice about jumping into the fray, and it therefore makes things worst, not better.

      2. DarrelKwong43

        Robert, you just said they could not do their *maths*, so I put them in the uneducated pot for the timebeing

        on the issue with London, you cannot just build and build, I have just spent almost an hour on the M25 at 6am in the morning, moving about an average of 5mph, which has five lanes…

        If you have an immigration policy which is about as useful as a chocolate teapot, you have to wonder if there will ever be enough houses for those who want to live in London.  How can you plan for the future, when you have zero idea of the population?



        1. Robert May

          They let themselves down when they don’t present factually correct  information.  £22b is a random number that’s out of context and hasn’t been qualified in any way at all, as such everyone being confronted with the angry cheque waver is thinking to themselves,  “err you got that bit wrong” and immediately the protest is robbed of it’s credibility.



  4. smile please

    Sorry I am struggling to understand what the great unwashed are trying to achieve.

    Are they saying landlords should just give their properties to the tenants and not charge them a penny?

    Or are they saying not enough social housing? In which case, surely they are not protesting in the right areas.


    1. ALT10092

      Landlords who are member of the RLA, are good landlords, providing a great home and paying taxes. The RLA provides training courses, to increase professionalism of the industry.

      Groups like London Renters Union have no sound policy, other then to attack private landlords.

      You are right when you say “Are they saying landlords should just give their properties to the tenants and not charge them a penny?”. They have lived at home with mum and/or dad for free, so resent the idea of paying rent.  

      The irony is lost on tenant groups such as LRU,  who will harass letting agents for not accepting tenants on housing benefit one week.  Then the next will be protesting to Government, because have spent billions on housing people on housing benefits.

      Some of these tenant groups complain,  they can’t afford to buy a home, as house prices are too high. They campaigned to the  Government to increase taxes on private landlords to sell up. They claimed landlords were getting a ‘tax break’ which was not honest.  Whilst this is great for those tenants who will see more property one sale, but those tenant on housing benefit or low income, will receive a notice to end the tenancy.  These tenants groups then turn up mob handed to stop the eviction.

      These tenants groups want landlords to give secure tenancies for life, whilst at the same time, harassing private landlords to exit the rental market.    Some those who want secure tenancies are single mothers, now is n’t it irony of life, they can’t get the father of their child to stick around, but expect a private landlords to be give them a tenancy for life.

      I am hoping to exit the rental market by 2020, which is when the tax has full effect. I will be invited LRU, to protest outside my house and so they see the upset on my tenants faces. It will be down to them, because they campaigned for these taxes.



  5. DASH94

    “The future of renting means housing for people not profit. End the politics and culture of property as investment rather than to house people”.

    JMHO – This is the crux of it – investor landlords are filling the hole in the social housing market that has been left by successive governments and are now expected to apologise for wanting to make some money from their investment.

    It’s all bonkers .




  6. CountryLass

    Does that mean I can crash the next meeting of mortgage lenders and complain about paying interest on my mortgage, set up fees and survey fees?

    It’s basically the same thing!


    No mention of how many were getting their rent paid from Housing Benefit or Universal credit, all funded by the tax payer..


  8. agent orange

    Tenants being asked to pay rent? – disgusting!

    what is this world coming to??

  9. ALT10092

    London Renters Unions started in the London Boroughs of Newham, Hackney and Lewisham.

    Why did they start in deprived areas such as Newham not in expensive areas such as Richmond or Kensington?

    Ironic they should complain about  tenants issues.    Newham was the first council in the country to license every privately tenanted property in the Borough. When they introduced this the Licensing scheme, they charged £500 per property. Newham Council have shot up to the License fee to £750.  Without a property license, a landlord will get fined of up to £30,000.  What benefit has it had for tenants, other then an explosion in the rate of evictions!.    It is the highest in the country.     Is this anything to do with Newham Licensing scheme and their war on private landlords?. Shelter have been in favour of Licensing schemes.

    Other London Councils are introducing Licensing schemes.

    Whilst there is a ban on tenant letting fees, do London Renters Unions, think the Licensing fees of £750 is fair? Tenants will have to pay for this in higher rents.

    The Government listed to tenants groups and increased taxes on private landlords. They got rid of the 10% wear and tear allowance.  By 2020, landlords are facing increased taxes, as rents have to go up to cover the tax. Other landlords will decide to sell up. How does that help single mothers on benefits?  The Government has frozen housing housing benefit until 2020.

    In Hackney, they are facing an influx of trendy hipsters, this is pushing people out to cheaper areas, such as Newham, Waltham Forest etc…   Newham has a high immigration population, with high birth rates.

    London Renters Unions should work with the RLA, to address issues. However, I suspect they are more of along the lines of militants and anti-capitalist… (may be I am wrong!).


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