‘I’m sick of paying extortionate rents for poor quality flats’: Protesters occupy bank over mortgage policy

Union members occupied a TSB bank on Saturday in a day of protest against a rule in the company’s buy-to-let mortgage policy.

Members of Acorn’s Lambeth and Southwark branches infiltrated the TBS bank in High Road, Tottenham, forcing it to shut for the morning by building cardboard houses and sharing speeches.

Acorn Lambeth branch secretary Patrick Dunne, 26, of Lambeth Walk, Kennington, said: “I joined Acorn and took action on Saturday because I’m sick of landlords and banks profiteering from the housing crisis and our government not doing anything about it. 

“My rents have gone up each year, and I’m sick of paying extortionate rents for poor quality flats. 

“As a born and bred South Londoner I’ve seen many of my friends and family priced out of London, and worried that if rents continue to rise I will be pushed out as well.”

Union members called on the bank to change the terms and conditions in the buy-to-let mortgages they sell (Picture: Acorn)

Demonstrators called on TSB to change the terms and conditions in the buy-to-let mortgages they sell which stop landlords from offering more than a 12 month contract to their tenants. 

The union says the policy keeps renters in “insecure tenancy agreements”.

Once a fixed term 12-month contract ends, tenants either go onto a rolling contract where their conditions can be changed by the landlord each month, sign another fixed term contract but have to renegotiate terms like rent, or they may be evicted. 

TSB is the only major bank offering buy-to-let mortgages with a rule limiting landlords to giving 12 month tenancy contracts. 

A spokesman from TSB said: “We are looking closely at the questions around buy-to-let mortgages raised by Acorn.”

Pictured top: Members of Acorn forced the TBS bank in High Road, Tottenham, to close for the morning (Picture: Acorn)

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