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How to rent strike

We’ve written this guide to help renters organise a rent strike in their flat, apartment complex, neighbourhood or other rental arrangement, against your landlord, property manager or company. This is a distressing, confusing and difficult time for many, and we know that this situation is only likely to get worse as the full economic impacts of the crisis unfold. The government has extended some support, but many are still falling through the cracks. By organising together, we can get the government to write off rents and mortgages as governments around the world have done. If there are enough of us, there is nothing they can do to stop us.

Whatever the need, the national Rent Strike Aotearoa group as well as our local groups in Auckland, Dunedin and Queenstown are a great place to start.

If you have any questions or suggestions please email them through to us at rentstrikeaotearoa@protonmail.com


Steps to organising a rent strike:

1 – Sign the rent strike pledge ↓

If you haven’t already, sign up to our rent strike pledge here. Signing up to the pledge will link you up with rent strikers in your local area and nationally so you can help organise rent strikes locally or nationally.It also puts more pressure on the Government to implement our demands, as it will show them how many renters are willing to go on strike across the country to implement it. The more people that pledge, the more powerful our strike will be!

2 – Join existing local groups or form new local groups ↓

Once you’ve signed the rent strike pledge, you’ll be linked up with rent strikes in your local area so you can get to know each other, provide each other advice and support and work together to organise rent strikes. We currently have local Facebook groups in Auckland, Dunedin and Queenstown(we’ll update this with new local groups as they’re created.

If you have signed the pledge and there is no local Facebook group in your area, create one and let us know at rentstrikeaotearoa@protonamail.com so that let other rent strikers in your area know about it.

3 – Research your landlord ↓

For a rent strike to be successful, you will need to have the majority of renters with the same landlord to go on strike. If this doesn’t happen, landlords will harass and pick on the minority of striking renters to break the strike.

To make this happen, you will need to find out who the other renters of your landlord are. To do this, if you don’t know who your landlord and/or property management company is, find who owns your property through your local council or through https://www.linz.govt.nz/. Then, use these resources to find out if your landlord owns other properties.

4 – Reach out to renters that share your landlord ↓

Within your flat, engage in one to one conversations with your flatmates about their problems with their rent and how a rent strike could help solve their problems. One-on-ones are the heart of organising rent strikes and other collective actions. They are an organiser’s main tool for changing someone’s motivations and bringing them onboard the rent strike. They are vulnerable conversations where you discover someone’s issue, make them face the reality of it, and get them to realise their issue is the result of a system (i.e. a landlord) and that collective action has the power to change it despite the risks. Without one-on-ones, you cannot get solid commitments from people.

When you talk to your flatmates about this, you should mostly ask your flatmates questions about their situation, listen 80% of the time and talk 20% of the time. You should aim to agitate them and get them angry about the issue while also being empathetic with your flatmate. One-to-one conversations are always a little uncomfortable. You are probably asking someone to do something outside their comfort zone.

You must be comfortable with silence if the other person does not have an immediate response to your question, and be comfortable waiting until they give you one. One-to-one conversations involve asking someone to both seriously consider the risks involved, and what will happen if they don’t take action. Only that way can you get authentic, lasting commitments.

There is a process to one-on-ones: see here, here, and here for what it looks like!

Practice helps. If you haven’t done one before, try practicing with a friend or fellow organiser! No one starts out being good at one-on-ones. It is a skill to learn and it takes practice.

When you’re trying to contact other renters in your building or other properties owned by your landlord and/or property management company, make sure you do so in accordance with the Ministry of Health’s guidelines so you do it in a manner that reduces the risks of transmitting COVID-19.

So instead of door knocking and having a physical one-on-one conversation put a note (like these ones) in the renters mailbox or under their door asking them if they need any help, if they’re concerned about paying their rent and if they are then to talk to you through contact information you provide (be it your phone number, email etc.)

Once they have contacted you, schedule a time with them and have a one-on-one conversation with them in the way detailed above.

In both cases, once a majority of renters in your flat, your apartment complex or the other properties owned by your landlord support a rent strike, you should invite them to a meeting to organise one.

5 – Hold a meeting with your fellow renters to go on a rent strike ↓

To ensure your meeting is held in accordance with Ministry of Health guidelines, instead of meeting physically, meet online through apps like Facebook, Google Hangouts, WhatsApp, Zoom, and Jitsi. Set a day and time and suits most of the renters and remind them about the meeting the day before.

For the meeting, set up a simple agenda. Have a facilitator, whose job is to keep the conversation on topic, include all participants in discussion and make sure every task has someone assigned to it. Also have a note taker, whose job is to write down at least the most important points, any decisions, and who commits to doing what. These help with knowing what happened as you move forward and with keeping people in the loop who missed a meeting.

At the meeting, ask people attending the following: Who they are? How they’re coping with the pandemic? What opportunities are there for mutual aid to build trust? How is the pandemic is impacting their housing — are they struggling to make rent? Is it forcing them to confront the difficult conditions in their house they were otherwise avoiding? How much of the building is here? Does anyone here know the missing units and can someone reach out to them? How are people feeling about rent striking? What questions do people have? What demands do they want to make? When’s the next call?

While you want to be wary of time, it’s important to make space for people to vent and agitate themselves over this situation.

6 – Decide on your demands ↓

When deciding on your demands, while you can support our demands, especially when you’re participating in a national rent strike, we encourage you to create your own demands that will solve your local problems. When deciding on your demands, consider the following.What exactly do you want? A winnable demand might be a repayment plan with no evictions or reduced rent for two months. Maybe the biggest complaint is something other than rent altogether — maybe people are upset that essential maintenance is frozen. Good demands are: Specific, given with a timeline, widely shared among the group, and achievable. What your landlord gives up is roughly equivalent to the damage your collective action is doing. Landlords operate logically (…more or less). If your collective actions are doing equivalent or more damage to the landlord because a demand isn’t being met, then it is in the landlord’s interest to agree to the demand. If your collective action does not meet this threshold, then it is extremely unlikely the demand will be won.

A demand does not need to “go for the gold” right off the bat. In fact, demands often fail if they do because there is usually not enough collective power built in the beginning to achieve the highest demand. Smaller demands that can initially be won more easily, such as simply getting a video chat with your landlord when they wouldn’t previously, can build up the collective confidence in order to eventually lead to calling for the highest demand.

Who has the power to fix the problem? For smaller companies, this might be easy: the landlord whose name is on all your rent checks. For larger developers, it may be less clear. Identify a person in management who has the ability to either fix the problem or make the call, and whose pockets would be hurt by collective action.

Which tactics can work? Tactics can leverage social, political, and/or financial pressure on a landlord. Social pressure means impacting a landlord’s personal relationships in their community, or impacting their sense of power over tenants. Political pressure means leveraging media, city officials, and legislative means to influence a landlord. Financial pressure means hurting a landlord’s profits. Typically, financial pressure with some political pressure is the most effective in achieving a demand.

It deserves special mention that a demand on your landlord for rent suspension with no back pay owed would be extraordinarily difficult to achieve. The actions renters can possibly take against a landlord can’t match up to the financial losses the landlord would take by agreeing to this demand. Strongly consider a different demand — winning something is better than winning nothing. Demanding this of the government is another matter though, and one we can fight for when we organise citywide or national rent strikes.

7 – Write a demand letter and deliver it to your landlord ↓

Once you have collectively decided on a set of demands, you should write a letter that contains these demands, a deadline for when these demands should be implemented and what action will be taken if the landlord doesn’t implement them (e.g. a rent strike). You can find a template of a demand letter here. There are others, feel free to reach out to us at rentstrikeaotearoa@protonmail.com if you’d like to see them.

Once you’ve finished your demand letter, have your renters sign it if they wish and send it to your landlord. Due to current Ministry of Health guidelines, you should send it your landlord via email, preferably through a collective email address so that your landlord doesn’t pick on one of you. You can also ask for your landlord to meet all the rent strikers on Zoom and deliver your demand letter that way.

If you are using a collective email address, include in your demand letter that all future communications with your landlord during the struggle for these demands will occur through this email. Keep a record of all of your correspondence with the landlord.


other ways of taking action against landlords

Social Media ↓

We can share any information about your local rent strike page on our Facebook, Twitter and Instagram pages. In addition, you should create pages on these and other social media platforms in order to inform other renters about your rent strike and to put forward your own messaging and framing of the rent strike that isn’t filtered by traditional media.

In addition, having your own social media pages is a great platform to use to shame your landlord during the rent strike and gain greater public support. You can use hashtags and taking photos of signs put on your flat windows calling for a rent strike to expand public awareness of your strike in visually striking ways.

Traditional media ↓

Talking to television, newspaper and online media about why you’re going on rent strike can be a powerful tool to use during your rent strike. Talking to the media allows you to share your stories of being exploited by your landlord, explain why you’re organising a rent strike and what your demands are. This will lead to greater publicity and public support for your strike and your landlord being publicly shamed, which could contribute to your rent strike being successful.

We have connections with several journalists which we can put you in contact with if you wish to talk to the media about your rent strike.

Lobby councillors and MPs ↓

Contacting your local councillor and Member of Parliament by sending your demand letter to them and asking them to have a meeting with you to talk about supporting your demands and pressure the landlord to implement them is one way to bring additional pressure on your landlord.

If they refuse to meet you and support your demands and pressure the landlord to implement them, then do research on the councillors and MP’s organisational allies as well as on their donors.

Sometimes the easiest way to pressure a councillor or MP is through other organisations they are allied with, such as chambers of commerce, neighborhood associations, development non-profits, etc. Find a reason that these groups would also be upset with the landlord you are fighting and pressure them to speak with the councillor or MP.

If the councillor or MP still refuses to meet you, support your demands and pressure the landlord to implement them, then make your councillor or MP another target and engage in future actions against them to intensify the pressure on them.

Put pressure on community organisations that your landlord is a member of ↓

Most landlords and property managers are part of community organisations (like charitable foundations, churches etc.), so sending demand letters to them can be effective. This is because your demand letter exposes your landlord’s callousness during a pandemic, which can reduce their standing in the community organisations.

This reduced standing can lead to increased pressure on landlords to implement your demands in order to prevent further loss of standing and regain their lost standing.

Petitions ↓

A petition created through platforms like ActionStation or Change.org is a great way to publicise your rent strike through your petition being shared by your supporters to their friends and loved ones. It’s also a concrete way to demonstrate to your landlord that you have broader community support behind your rent strike, which can increase the pressure on them to implement your demands.

Fundraise for a rent strike fund ↓

To ensure you have money to pay printing, legal, and other costs to fund your rent strike as well as to have enough money to pay your rent in case you need to, you should establish a rent strike fund. To do this, you’ll need to set up a bank account with your prefered financial institution.

Once you’ve set the bank account up, post on your social media platforms to encourage supporters to donate to your rent strike fund.

Mass email and call-ins to your landlord ↓

Doing mass emails and call-ins is a great way to flex some muscle and demonstrate how much community support you have.

To do this, come up with a short, concise script stating your demands. It should be two to four sentences tops. It should include something along the lines of “I demand that you negotiate with these tenants, the community is behind them.” Use respectful but firm language, and instruct your friends to do the same. Landlords love the opportunity to play victim if callers and emailers become aggressive or offensive.

Create a flyer with the script, the phone number and email address of the landlord, and the time period during which one should call and email. Pass them out to all your friends, other tenants in the building, family members, coworkers, etc. If you have the time, you could arrange a call and email party, where everyone gets together and makes an event out of it (this will also allow you to brain-storm the next steps after the call-in and mass emails ends).

For your online platforms, create a script, create a graphic (Google Slides is good for this) that contains the script, the day and time, and the phone number(s) and email address(es) to call. Create a Facebook event and invite all your friends (don’t include the landlord’s contact info until the day of the event, and remove it after the call-in and mass email ends). Email blast your friends and family. If you use Twitter, post the graphic on the day of the call-in and mass emails and encourage your friends to share. Tag Rent Strike Aotearoa in your post and we’ll signal boost it!

When scheduling your call-in and mass emails, remember that the best times to call are morning and midday. If you are calling an office, tying up the phone line will render them unable to do business – an added bonus! Schedule a 2-3 hour window — focused enough to be potent, long enough to be a pain in the ass. If this is a small landlord that works a day job, find out where their day job is and call and email there too. If the landlord refuses to answer or engage, feel free to send texts to them as well. Encourage supporters to update the event page on Facebook with the results of their calls and emails – it helps to keep up momentum and encourages others to participate.

Collective meeting with landlord on Zoom ↓

If your landlord demands to met with you or another of your renters, then refuse that demand and counter-demand that you should meet with all of the rent strikers via Zoom. In the Zoom meeting, you can reiterate to the landlord your demands, that you won’t end your rent strike until the rent strike ends and that this is how you will communicate with the landlord for the rest of the rent strike.

This tactic is a powerful way to show the landlord that the rent strikers are united and will not be broken by the landlord’s attempts at intimidation or to break up the rent strike through negotiating with individual renters. You can also use this format to negotiate with the landlord in the future.

Flyering outside the landlord’s home ↓

Landlords are not only part of community organisations, they also live in communities where they have a positive reputation that they seek to maintain. Damaging their reputation amongst their community through flyering is one more way to put pressure on them to implement your demands. No one likes being called out in front of their neighbours!

Keep all the information on the flyer factual. It isn’t slander if it’s true! Include the landlord’s name and photo, as well as the address of the building the renters are defending. Label it “COMMUNITY NOTICE” to grab attention, and ask at the end for the reader to reach out to their neighbour about the issue you’ve highlighted.

Leave a flyer on every building’s door, on every windshield of every car and in mailboxes.

Car protest circling the landlord’s home ↓

While the Ministry of Health’s guidelines means that you cannot picket or protest your landlord’s home in person, there are other ways to protest your landlord in person until we can go back to more traditional forms of protest!

One way is to get all your fellow rent strikers into their cars and circle around the landlord’s home. This tactic powerfully demonstrates to the landlord, their neighbours and to the public that there are many renters that the landlord has exploited and that they are all standing united against them.

If you do a livestream of this on social media and invite along traditional media to cover the protest, this can also serve to not only advertise your strike and your demands, it can also shame the landlord by showing how much opposition they face from their renters.

This is but a small set of possible actions you can take against your landlord to escalate your rent strike and help ensure that your rent strike is victorious. If you have anymore tactics that rent strikers could use, email them to us at rentstrikeaotearoa@protonmail.com

FAQs

What is a rent strike?

A rent strike is when a group of renters get together and agree to stop paying rent, partially or entirely, to win renters’ demands against landlords, and sometimes even beyond. Examples of some things that have been won through rent strikes are reduced rents, stopping rent increases (or rent freezes) and full suspension of rent payments without consequences like back rents, debt, bad credit ratings or eviction.

Individual renters, or even small groups of renters, simply not paying rent is not a rent strike, and can lead to eviction and other attacks from a system that overwhelmingly puts landlords interests over those of renters. Without being organised, you will likely be hit with late fees and back rent accumulation, damage to credit rating or even get kicked out of your home.

So to be clear, a rent strike is when a group of renters get organised in solidarity with one another around agreed-upon demands, and stand up together to the landlord, property manager, company or even the government to win the demands. This kind of collective approach makes it harder or impossible for the landlord to retaliate against renters, just like when workers get organized in a workplace, it is harder for the bosses to retaliate against the workers, for example, through firings. There are too many to evict, or fire, at once, especially during a pandemic like this. Rent strikes have already been successful here in helping students not pay accommodation fees. They didn’t have to even go on strike, even the threat of it and the pressure of having an organised group of people facing them instead of vulnerable people on their own, was enough for them to back down.

Together we have power! Alone we are divided.

Why should a rent strike be organised?

If you can’t pay rent, a rent strike is a way to pressure your landlord into reducing or cancelling your rent, and in turn puts pressure on the government to implement our demands, which are all around getting the government to protect renters.

Even if you’re still able, and paying your rent, you stand to gain from a rent strike. The more people that participate, the harder it will be for landlords and the government to break the strike and the more likely the government will respond to our demands.

In addition, while you may not be in financial trouble now, in a month or two, you may not be able to pay your rent, as thousands of people are already now incapable of doing. We are doing this to make sure no-one is forced into choosing between food and shelter, or live in fear of being kicked out onto the street because of a pandemic that none of us chose. We have seen the government, if it chooses to, can in fact step in and protect our incomes.

Also, these demands we are making on the government are about saving lives. We want the government to take emergency measures to prevent as many deaths as possible and for people to continue to take care of their health to better resist the spread of COVID-19. No one should have to choose between housing, food and health.

Everyone must stand together in times of crisis and there must be a collective response to current problems. We already know that many of us will be unable to pay our rent in the coming months. Participating in a rent strike is one of the ways, and one of the most effective ways, to force the government to recognise what people want and cancel rent and mortgage payments during the COVID-19 pandemic and protect renters into the future.

Has this been done before?

Yes! Even in little ole’ Aotearoa, our history is filled with rent strikes that have improved renters rights and improved their conditions through bringing about freezes on rent increases, reducing rents, protecting renters from unjust evictions and more.

Meanwhile, renters have held rent strikes in the Americas, Europe, Africa and beyond, winning rent reductions, improved rights and more as a result. Direct action gets the goods! Check out the Anti-Eviction Mapping Project for some examples.

Most recently here, Victoria University students got together to respond to the university charging them fees for keeping their rooms empty during the lockdown. With a bit of pressure, and a few hundred students signing a pledge, the university backed down. This has been replicated around the world.

What are we trying to win through a rent strike?

Our demands are (from here):

  1. An immediate amnesty from paying rent or mortgages, and a ban on all evictions throughout the COVID-19 pandemic (to be extended for a a period afterwards to help people recover financially and emotionally).
  2. Long term rent caps to enable people to recover financially and emotionally from COVID-19
  3. The government to buy unoccupied houses (ghost homes) and buildings on the private market for public housing for homeless peoples
  4. Remove all obligations to pay for the cost of temporary emergency housing, and reinstate this as a non-recoverable grant.
  5. No tenants will be left with debts or fines, retaliatory rent increases or retaliation from utility companies
  6. No bad references or rental histories for tenants who don’t or are unable to pay rent

We are also working on a list of longer term demands looking at what we want for housing in Aotearoa in the future. If you have any suggestions for that please get in touch!

Where have these demands come from / been implemented?

They all have precedent:

Demand 1 has been implemented in France and New York.

Demand 2 has been partially implemented here through a national rent increase freeze but must be extended beyond six demands.

Demand 3 has happened through the Government purchasing more motels to house the homeless, but we are demanding that this is extended until all the homeless are housed, forever.

Demand 4 used to be implemented through temporary emergency housing costs being a non-recoverable grant. We want that back, for those who are in really precarious situations that will be exacerbated by this crisis.

Demands 5 and 6 are less important, but still vital to protect renters who can’t afford rent now to still be able to find housing in the future.

What is your plan to get rent strikes to happen?

Through our rent strike pledge. We are building up the numbers of people who are willing to take the step or who have already stopped paying rent. Once enough people sign the pledge, we will announce a date.

In the meantime, we are working with those pledgers to encourage and help organise strikes on a local level, encouraging them to join existing local groups (in Auckland,Dunedin and Queenstown) or form local groups in their area.

Having big numbers signing the pledge will help us put pressure not only on the government but also landlords, property managers and companies around the country. Any local rent strikes will also mean more renters across Aotearoa hear about the strike and feel confident to sign as well. If a sizeable proportion of renters engage in this across Aotearoa, then a national rent strike will be possible.

So we need everyone to share the pledge far and wide! Share it with your friends and loved ones, answer their questions and encourage them to sign it in order to expand the amount of people committed to going on rent strike.

Once we reach the number of pledges that the majority of people say they will strike at, we will send an email out asking if they’re up for it. If the signal is good, we will ramp up our organising, make the necessary preparations and choose a date to begin.

Why not just sign petitions and lobby the government?

While there have been petitions submitted to the government calling for meaningful relief for renters, like ActionStation’s Emergency Housing Plan and Avaaz’s petition to freeze rent and mortgage payments, as of the writing of this guide, the Government has not implemented the demands in these petitions and has not responded to lobbying attempts. This is not surprising, as things like petitions often have little leverage in the face of the powerful interests of landlords and property companies.

Because the government is unlikely to respond to those things, all that we have left is our capacity to work together and refuse to pay rent to make our landlords and the government provide relief through implementing our demands. We need to apply as many different tactics as possible to maximise pressure on our landlords and the government to provide renters with relief.

Isn’t the government helping already?

As we detail in our renters guide, the Government has provided relief to renters through the wage subsidy and tightening the evictions criteria. However, as detailed in the Renting Under Lockdown survey from Renters United, the majority of renters in New Zealand are suffering extreme financial pressure and living in unaffordable tenancies during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Most renters had unaffordable tenancies pre-pandemic, with the pandemic having worsened the situation. Unless the Government implements our demands to provide renters relief, then this worsened situation will become the new normal for renters across New Zealand.

Should I go on rent strike on my own?

No, as rent strikes are only effective when done by a group of renters, more specifically when it’s done by a majority of renters with the same landlord. Going on rent strike by your own will in all likelihood lead to you being evicted by your landlord.

Due to this, we strongly advise renters who want to do this to focus on organise their fellow renters to go on rent strike instead. The more renters who go on strike, the more likely the rent strike will be successful.

If you are unable to pay rent now though, know that the law changes during Covid-19 mean that as long as you make “reasonable efforts” to pay, Tribunal will take that into account when considering any attempt by your landlord to evict you after you have been in arrears.

Don’t landlords have bills and mortgages to pay too?

Yes, but it’s not up to the renters to take responsibility for the landlords. It is up to the Government to take action to ensure that landlords do not have to pay their bills either. Renters must put their health and their immediate needs, such as food, first. Renters have also been paying abusive fees to landlords for many years.

Landlords with mortgages should require banks to suspend mortgage payments without interest. During the pandemic, it is the duty of landlords to refuse to collect rent from their tenants. We must all put pressure on the government. Renters are not responsible for the pandemic. They are not responsible for the jobs lost, the hours cut, or for getting sick.

Times are uncertain, we do not know how long this crisis will last or how it will evolve. It is the people in precarious situations – those who were already struggling to pay for groceries, rent, bills and debts – who will be hit hardest. It’s the wealthy in a society who should bear the brunt, not the renters.

Is it illegal to rent strike?

The Residential Tenancies Act does not guarantee renters a legal right to strike like the Employment Relations Act does for workers going on a workplace strike (albeit under certain conditions).

If you engage in a rent strike, it amounts to non-payment of your rent. As we explain in our renters guide, if your landlord wants to evict you for non-payment of rent, you must be 60 days (8 and a half weeks) in arrears and they then have to follow the usual process of giving you warnings, notice and then apply to the Tenancy Tribunal.  Even then, the Tribunal must consider whether it would be fair in the circumstances to terminate the tenancy, taking into account whether you have made reasonable efforts towards paying rent. 

In addition, as Rent Strike Now points out with this example from Britain: “The only reason why no one was evicted (or saw any of the above things [legal consequences] happen to them) in any of the rent strikes that have happened in university accommodation in the last few years has little to do with law: it has everything to do with the political strength of their campaign, the number of students on strike and the extent to which strikers had a hold on the university’s image. No uni wants to get bad press after evicting struggling students.”

Going on strike is never without risk, but it is also a way to make your needs and rights heard. By collectivising the risks, we also collectivise the defence organization. The more renters that participate in the rent strike, the greater the chances of avoiding these risks.

What can happen to me if I go on rent strike?

As we explained earlier, as the right to go on rent strike is not legally protected, if you engage in a rent strike, it amounts to non-payment of your rent, which is grounds for your landlord to evict you. However, if your landlord wants to evict you for non-payment of rent, you must be 60 days (8 and a half weeks) in arrears and they then have to follow the usual process of giving you warnings, notice and then apply to the Tenancy Tribunal.

As you do not have the law to fall back on regarding rent strikes, the only way you will be able to avoid legal reprisals for going on rent strike is to win against your landlord. This is why it is vital for you to have the majority of the tenants that rent with your landlord go on rent strike with you, as the more that go on rent strike, the more powerful that it will be and the more likely that you will win.

In addition, landlords will be a lot less likely to engage in legal action against you or any other individual renters if you are collectively organised, as they will recognise that their renters will take collective action against them if they try to engage in legal action against individual renters.

Landlords will also attempt to break the rent strike in various ways. These can take on two forms. The first is the landlord negotiating with individual renters so that they get preferable conditions compared to other renters (e.g. reduced rents, more regular repairs of your home) if they end their participation in the rent strike. The second is landlords threatening renters with legal retaliation, physical violence, emotional and psychological abuse, locking the renter out of their home or other threats of force in order to pressure renters to end the rent strike.

To respond to landlords attempts to individually negotiate with renters, you will need to convince your fellow rent strikers that the landlord should only communicate to you through collective channels rather than individually. In addition, reiterate to renters that while the landlord’s offers may sound appealing, you can get far more gains both in the short-term and long-term if you continue to take part in the rent strike and in future renter organising efforts.

To respond to landlord’s attempts to intimidate you, don’t meet with your landlord alone, don’t reply to their emails and phone calls that are sent to you individually, and have your fellow renters communication details so that you can contact them and get help from them if your landlord attempts to intimidate you in person. If your landlord engages in illegal activity, then contact the support services listed here in our renters guide.

I can’t/don’t want to go on rent strike, how else can I help?

Any support is always welcome! Here are some ways you can help:

  • Donate to our rent strike fund
  • Volunteer to take part in anti-eviction resistance
  • Sharing your renter experience to the media
  • Help organise rent strikes in your area

If any of those sound like something you’d be interested in doing, please get in touch with us at rentstrikeaotearoa@protonmail.com

Where to get support with going on rent strike.

We can provide support to you regarding organising and escalating a rent strike. You can contact us at rentstrikeaotearoa@protonmail.com. The facebook groups as well, nationally and if in your area your local group, will also be able to offer you support and advice. Go for it!

You can find other forms of support services for renters in general at “33. Directory of Support Groups” in our renters guide.

Who is Rent Strike Aotearoa?

We are a group of renters from across Aotearoa that are struggling for universal access to housing. We are struggling for this as shelter is necessary to ensure that every person and the communities can survive and flourish. To bring this about, we support renters in organising rent strikes to resist exploitation by their landlords, to improve renters rights and to pressure the government to repeal anti-renter policies and implement pro-renter policies. We are intersectional, environmentalist, anti-racist, feminist, pro-decolonisation, anti-capitalist, pro-queer liberation, pro-disability liberation and anti-ageism.