Sunday, February 12, 2012

[olympiaworkers] Victory in less than a week for newly reformed Glasgow Solidarity Network

Feb 10 2012

Victory in less than a week for newly reformed Glasgow Solidarity Network

Collective direct action against a letting agent succeeds in the full
refund of an illegal administration fee.

Glasgow Solidarity Network has demonstrated how direct action gets the
goods with a successful conclusion to its first fight.

Two members of the Glasgow Anarchist Federation and their flatmate
discovered that it is illegal in Scotland for letting agents to charge
tenants fees apart from rent and deposits. Their letting agent, Martin &
Co, had charged the three of them them a substantial £250 "check-in" fee
before they had even paid their deposit. They first submitted an official
complaint but received only the receipt listing the fees they had paid as
a reply. Shelter advised them that they could go to the small claims
court, but the court fee would have been £65 with no guarantee of a win!
So instead, on 3rd February, they and 15 friends from the Glasgow
Solidarity Network delivered a letter in person to the head of the Martin
& Co West End office (to the amusement of other staff) giving the company
two weeks to return the money. They left quickly, took a picture outside
for posterity, and dispersed, some to the pub. The manager must have
called the police, because two officers came by the flat on Saturday to
have a friendly chat, but thanks to helpful information from the Scottish
Activist Legal Project, Solidarity Network members know their rights, and
the police left without even taking names.

On Tuesday 7th February, just four days later, the tenants received a
cheque for the money in full.

Don't let letting agents get away with charging illegal fees! Don't let
landlords take advantage of you! Join us!

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