On Saturday Dorset IWW picketed Fox & Sons Bournemouth branch in support of Brighton Solidarity Federation’s Housing Union, to obtain compensation for tenants the company left out of pocket through their negligence. The support we received from passers-by was heartening, and many interesting conversations were had. Despite the weather, it was a rewarding afternoon.
Last September, six students were kept waiting five days after their agreed moving date, at which point their tenancy was abruptly cancelled, rendering them homeless. The agency offered no help, and they were compelled to take overpriced accommodation they could ill afford.
Fox & Sons must accept responsibility and shoulder some of the burden – our comrades are each demanding £380 to cover the extra rent on the property they had to take at the last minute.
Fox & Sons then took another nine days to refund £1650 of the tenants’ money. Fox & Sons Is part of the Connell’s group which owns dozens of similar companies and reported pre-tax profits of £28.9 million in the first six months of 2018. It’s ultimately owned by the Skipton Building society so the campaign is being escalated to take in their branches also.
Fox & Sons received £720 compensation from the landlords, Jears Properties Limited, another multi-million-pound company, and instead of passing it on, simply pocketed the money.
Landlords and agents exploit the shortage of accommodation to make vast profits from those who can least afford it.
Bosses and landlords, agencies and the DWP are all on the same side and it isn’t ours. We don’t need to put up with their shady practices if we stick together.
– An injury to one is an injury to all!