Tenant campaign group, Acorn, is helping tenants fight back against bad landlords. The group, launched in Bristol three years ago, is a union for tenants renting in the private sector. The founders of Acorn are keen to help tenants who are affected by poor housing – they claim many tenants do not know their rights and are reluctant to tackle bad landlords when things go wrong. Activists from Acorn act as advocates for tenants, talking to landlords and encouraging them to sort out problems. Acorn campaigns against poor conditions, rising rents, and wrongful evictions. They operate in the community, for the community.
Acorn Speaks to the BBC
The BBC spoke to one tenant who had contacted Acorn when his landlord refused to address serious problems with the rental flat he was sharing with his girlfriend.
The one-bed flat had no lock on the front door, black mould everywhere, and there was no electricity in the bedroom, so the pair were forced to go to bed using a torch. Then, to make matters worse, the landlord stopped paying the electricity bill, so the power supply was disconnected.
Acorn Steps In
Bristol council ordered the landlord to pay the bill, but he was given 28-days to act. Acorn activists visited the landlord and the power was back in within three days.
Some landlords have accused Acorn of acting as vigilantes, but the group denies the allegations. They told the BBC they were simply solving problems on behalf of individuals who needed their help.