On Saturday members of Hackney renters group Digs and their supporters gathered to challenge local letting agents for pushing up rents and generally making life miserable for local renters.
Gathering outside Hackney town hall, the group were introduced to a slimy letting agent (who you might recognise from our video…) who played host to a Monopoly game show where local renters were pitted against each other in an attempt to find somewhere affordable to live.
First stop of the day was Foxtons which, following criticism for hiring bouncers on our last day of action in April, took a less confrontational approach this time. One-by-one, players in the Monopoly game were knocked out because they were claiming housing benefit, didn’t earn enough to cover the sky-high rent, or couldn’t afford the extortionate fees.
Next stop was Felicity J Lord, where at least one member of the group had experienced being ripped-off in real life. Participants in the protest played a game of ‘Chance’, highlighting what a lottery the private rental market is.
The last stop was Homefinders, one of the many local letting agencies which refuse to let to people receiving housing benefit – despite the fact that many families can’t pay their rent without it. From there, the group headed to a nearby park to enjoy ice cream, send solidarity greetings to another housing action in south London, and start planning more action. Watch this space!