Opinion: Local group forming much-needed Tenants Union for the Southampton area

Opinion: Local group forming much-needed Tenants Union for the Southampton area

by Phil Tyler.

There is a fast-growing movement spreading around the UK in response to the increasing attacks by landlords and letting agents on renting tenants. Tenants have very little on their side as individuals when a landlord demand swingeing rent increases, fails to keep their property in good condition or behaves unreasonably, or expedites summary evictions. 

Getting advice is one thing, but tenants often need physical actions and emotional support that can only come from a union of people in a similar boat. Belonging to a Tenants Union driven by its tenant members gives each member a force to stand with them. The problem is that despite the rapid expansion of Tenants’ Unions, there are large areas this movement has not yet reached. Hampshire is one of those areas. But if you live in the Southampton area, Positive Money Solent has begun assembling a broad-skilled and experienced group of enthusiastic and determined tenants working together to take on the challenge. Calling themselves Southampton Tenants Union (STU), the group is holding the first of several events to promote the idea and expand the current tenant members. This event will be at the Community Room, October Books 198, Portswood Road, SO17 2NF, on Saturday, 3rd December, at 7:00 pm. Come along and meet the working group and the people from the many agencies and organisations behind them. 

A member of the group, Chloe, said, “At the event, we will also agree on a set of principles and procedures to reinforce the group’s identity. This is a unique opportunity to become a founder member of STU. This Union is going to change the lives of many desperate tenants for the better. We will also discuss the issues tenants face so that we, the tenant members’ perspectives, are what the Union uses to move forward, not our ignorant and blinkered rulers.” 

As a robust identifiable organisation and a properly established group, STU can promote itself so that more and more people can support its growth and, at the same time, get support from their own union community.

The Proto Southampton Tenants Union is gathering support from many agencies and interested parties around the city.  This event is funded in solidarity by Southampton Area Co-operative Development Agency, Hamwic Housing Co-operative, and Unite Community Southampton.  

For more about this important and exciting development in our area, find Southampton Tenants’ Union on Twitter: @stontenantsunion, Facebook: Soton Tenants Union, or email them at: sotontenantsunion@outlook.com

For more information about Positive Money Solent,  email sotonpomo@gmail.com or visit the Southampton Group of Positive Money Supporters on Facebook.

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