Corporate accountability

Santander Stop Raising Rents

In 2017 it came out that Santander bank who made £2 billion profit in 2016 had been forcing up rents since 2011. Buried deep in Santander’s buy-to-let mortgage contracts was a hidden term forcing landlords to “get written advice from a qualified valuer” and “take all steps to ensure that [it] leads to the maximum increase in the rent which can reasonably be achieved”.

With tenants facing a triple burden of insecurity, poor standards and already extortionate costs, Santander’s lust for profit above all else is made it much harder for tenants to afford a home.

Along with our Scottish sister organisation Living Rent we organised demonstrations in eight cities across the UK demanding that Santander drop the clause. The threat of direct action worked and they scrapped the policy immediately.

TSB – Say yes to DSS

ACORN’s fourth birthday coincided with the ten year anniversary of the 2008 crash when greedy bankers destroyed the global financial system as they chased ever bigger profits. They plunged millions of us into poverty and provided the justification for their friends in government to destroy our public services. Of course, the bankers are ok as they got £billions of our money in the bailout.

While researching bank policies that hurt tenants we discovered that TSB had a clause in their buy to let mortgage contracts banning landlords from renting to housing benefit claimants, students or asylum seekers. This leaves an especially bad taste in the mouth as back when they were Lloyds TSB they were happy to accept the biggest welfare hand-out in history – a cool £21 billion.

We members organised demonstrations and occupations across the country and delivered demands to TSB branches that they drop the policy.

We’ve always said that direct action gets the goods and we’ve proved it once again because TSB have confirmed that they’re scrapping the clause banning landlords from renting to benefit claimants.