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Agencies & People

Eviction demonstration outside lettings agency leads to arrests

15 Acorn campaigners gathered to demonstrate outside Ryeview Homes over a disputed eviction in High Wycombe.

Nigel Lewis

acorn ryeview high wycombe

The branch of a lettings agency in Buckinghamshire was the scene of demonstration that saw two demonstrators arrested after its directors called local police to break up the gathering.

Some 15 members of the private rental market campaigning group Acorn’s Oxford branch demonstrated outside the offices of Ryeview homes on Crendon Street near the railway station in central High Wycombe.

Demonstrators waved flags and held placards and cartoon rats. The group is campaigning to stop an eviction in the town of a family served a Section 21 ‘no fault’ eviction notice after reportedly telling the agency that their property was infested with large rats, some up to 10cm long, and that they faced multiple other hazards.

Such notices are not being processed by the courts at the moment and are instead only allowing evictions over extreme rent arrears, trespass and domestic violence to proceed to an eviction warrant.

The demonstrators were trying to get the Ryeview agent handling the tenancy, Amjd Choudhry, to come out and speak with the demonstrators, who police say were tapping on the window of its office and attempting to gain entry.

Police called

Ryeview then called local police to attend the demonstration and two members of the Acorn group were arrested and detained overnight.

A man, aged 21, was arrested on suspicion of criminal damage. He has since been released under investigation. A woman, aged 27, was also arrested on suspicion of criminal damage and bailed.

“Instead of supporting tenants standing up for their rights, the police decided to detain two of our members without reason,” a statement from Acorn Oxford said via its social media accounts.

Acorn have increasingly been targeting lettings agency offices over the past few years when campaigning over issues with specific tenancies, although this is the first time one of their members has been arrested during such a demonstration.

Pic credit: Acorn Oxford 

March 5, 2021

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