Bristol students protest outside landlords’ home in socially distant march
‘We’re here to urge you to reconsider your stance on rent reductions and no-penalty contract release for your tenant’
Eleven Bristol students marched to the home of the directors of First Step Homes to hand deliver a letter calling for contract-releases for students.
First Step Homes owns the properties managed by the student letting service, DIGs.
The students involved maintained social distancing at all times.
One protestor read the letter out in front of the landlords’ large home in Stoke Bishop as a few neighbours looked on.
Bristol students protesting outside a landlords home while adhering to social distancing guidance pic.twitter.com/0tL7cZbd3f
— Danny Shaw (@dgshaw7799) May 14, 2020
The protestor said: “We’re here to urge you to reconsider your stance on rent reductions and no-penalty contract release for your tenants.”
“We don’t believe that young people who have lost their jobs or whose families have lost work should be paying for properties that they are willing to use.”
They described how First Step Homes was a healthy company, supported by the government and that they should “take this opportunity to do the socially responsible thing and support [their] tenants during this crisis.”
This came as part of a wider day of action against First Step Homes organised by Bristol, Cut the Rent.
The student-led activist group encouraged students to flood the landlords with emails and phone calls between 1-3 pm.
A student who attended the protest told The Bristol Tab: “I’m withholding rent due to Digs’ callous attitudes towards their tenants, as they threatened us with late fees if we didn’t pay our rent on time.
“They showed no sympathy to the fact that our student loans came in well after the rent due date, and the fact that many students have lost their jobs due to Covid-19 and therefore are unable to pay.”
The directors of First Step Homes have been contacted for comment.