London Renters Union members protested outside Keating Estates in Brixton on Saturday 15 January after hundreds of pounds were deducted from two renters’ deposits.
Protesters demanded that Marianne Holt, 25, and Scarlet Pestell, 24, be returned their full deposits after being charged £370.56 for damaged and missing items and cleaning fees.
The group of 12-15 gathered on Coldharbour Lane at 12pm and left at approximately 1:30pm after Holt and Pestell arranged a meeting with Dwayne Joynt, Head of Lettings, to discuss the dispute.
Holt said: “London Renters Union are an amazing organisation who are able to guide you when you feel helpless in these situations and provide avenues for challenging things when you might not otherwise know how.”
The pair say the deductions are unfair as items were damaged when they moved into the property, including a broken sofa which resulted in a £143 deduction from their deposit.
Charges for missing items which Holt and Pestell say were unwanted items left behind by previous tenants and a cleaning charge of £108 are also being disputed.
Joynt said: “We take instruction from our clients when it comes to proposed deductions and Keating Estates has no vested interest in making any deductions from tenants’ deposits.
“We always advise our clients to keep proposed deductions fair, proportionate and evidence-based.”
Holt and Pestell also say Keating Estates did not provide an inventory when they moved into the property.
Joynt rebutted the claim saying there had been an inventory, check in and check out conducted by an independent, third party inventory clerk at the start and end of the tenancy.
Joynt said: “The tenants didn’t agree to proposed deductions and after numerous attempts to find common ground we advised them to raise a dispute with Mydeposits who adjudicate as independent arbitrators which the tenants did.
“Mydeposits have given us their final decision on the dispute and having taken all the evidence into account they have found in the landlords favour for the full amount of £370.56.”
Joynt says he offered to meet the tenants to discuss the dispute amicably.
Holt and Pestell joined London Renters Union when they began their dispute with Keating Estates after leaving their property in Brixton to move to Hackney.
London Renters Union’s website says: “We organise creative protest actions that help individual members with housing problems and pressure those in power to make decisions in the interest of renters.”
There are branches in Newham & Leytonstone, Lewisham and Hackney.