Here you will find aids to campaign for improvements and to raise issues within the social housing sector.
- Guide to Making a Subject Access Request (SAR) plus Template Letter for Subject Access Request (SAR)
- Guide to Reporting a Problem or Writing a Complaint
- Guide to Setting Up a Tenants or Residents Association
- Guide to Making a Complaint Against Your Landlords
- Guide to Using Housing Association Statistics
- Guide to Rent and Service Charge Strikes
- Guide to Writing and Circulating Press Releases
- Template Letter: Suspend Rent and Service Charges
- Template letter to MPs on Leaseholding Debate
- Template Agenda: Tenant and Resident Association launch meetings
- Template Agenda: Tenant and Resident Association regular meetings
- Template Letter: Request Fire Risk Assessment
- SHAC – Template Letter – Local Council Sprinkler Installation Plans
- New guidance for the public on fire safety from RICS
The point about service charges is that they can only fleece us if we cooperate.
SHAC advises collectively withholding payment until the service charges are corrected, reasonable and fair.
If you pay your landlord before you are satisfied that the charges are accurate, reasonable and fair, their incentive to make any corrections diminish to almost zero.
SHAC has a special group dedicated to supporting those who are withholding all or part of their rent or service charges for a variety of reasons.
Tenants and residents often fear that this action will somehow lead to an eviction notice but we are not finding this. We believe that the failure to pursue those withholding payment is due to the fact that landlords know that they are in the wrong and would not therefore be able to defend their position in court.
If you want to take part, we are happy to meet with you to discuss it. In the meantime, more information is available on our Strike Group page.
The only other alternative that we are aware of is to challenge through the landlord’s internal process. This can be a grinding, time-consuming and relentless process and puts all of the onus on the tenant or resident to continually chase the landlord. It can of course be done alongside withholding the payment. The resources below may be of use in challenging service charges:
- Guide to requesting service charge information
- Guide to Challenging Service Overcharging for Housing Benefit Recipients
- Template Letter – Section 22 Request – Inspect Accounts – TRA
- Template Letter – Section 22 Request – Inspect Accounts – Individual
- Template Letter – Section 22 Request – Summary Accounts – TRA
- Template Letter – Section 22 Request – Summary Accounts – Individual
Develop a plan for a sustained campaign:
- Set up a group
- Hold effective meetings
- Set your goals
- Strategies and tactics
- Keep building and learning
Inspiration from the Anti-Eviction Movement in Spain
We’ll either force the bank to negotiate or force public services to re-house you, or we’ll occupy empty housing in an act of civil disobedience! PAH – Anti-Eviction Movement, Spain
Watch Si Se Puede – a moving and inspiring film on the anti-eviction movement that developed in Spain after their housing bubble crashed. Great demands by the PAH anti-eviction group, and lots of organising tips.