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(en) Slovakia, Prima Akcia: COVID-19: SolFed's Quick Victory in Rent Dispute [machine translation]

Date Mon, 4 May 2020 07:58:02 +0300

Solidarity Federation (SolFed) in Liverpool was contacted by a student living in a property rented by YPP Lettings. As a result of the pandemic, she had to return home to her family, but left all her personal belongings in the apartment. Since then, it has sought to reach a reasonable agreement with YPP and terminate the lease sooner. YPP offered a 5% discount if it paid the full rent in early April, which the tenant refused to accept. ---- She contacted SolFed and together they prepared a letter of request. The realtor first ignored the request and repeated the original offer. Later, she came up with the idea that they could agree on a repayment schedule. ---- This reluctance resulted in an open dispute. Solfed planned to contact other tenants with a similar problem and ask them for support and participation in the planned campaign.

"From the beginning, we were convinced that together we would be stronger. In this case, however, no one else got involved. We wrote an article about the problem and were about to launch a campaign when YPP suddenly called with an offer of a 22% discount on rent (or 660 pounds). The tenant agreed, so the campaign didn't even have to start, "informs the SolFed association.

He explains the reasons for ending the dispute as follows: "In our opinion, this is a good agreement, because the tenant was satisfied with it. We will be happy to support other tenants in a similar situation. The dispute has shown that the agencies are not telling the truth when they claim that they cannot afford to offer discounts when their buildings are empty. As the campaign hasn't even really started yet, we feel that we could win a higher discount from YPP and that YPP can obviously afford to offer discounts or even cancel contracts altogether, but in reality it is trying to make money on the crisis. "

According to SolFed, the real estate came up with a new offer for fear of direct actions. Another factor may have been information about tenants' strikes. In Plymouth, for example, more than 200 students took part in the strike. "It's time to start defending against landlords and other diseases," concludes SolFed.

We add that strikes against paying rent have been going on around the world for about a month, especially in the USA. In Slovakia, a law was adopted a few days ago, which allows tenants not to pay rent from the beginning of April to the end of June 2020, if one cannot afford it due to a pandemic. The landlord cannot terminate the lease with the tenant until the end of 2020. However, the rent is not forgiven and the tenant must pay it in full by the end of the year.

Union Direct Action

Based on information from the Liverpool SolFed Group website

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