Questo documento ha una versione in italiano: Rent strikes

Von diesem Dokument gibt es auch eine deutsche Version: Mietstreiks

The measures of support during the crisis concern the freezing of mortgages and the blocking of evictions, but often there is no real protection for renters. This problem affects a large part of the countries of the world, where many people who have lost their source of income are subjected to this often unsustainable expense. From the first of April, a general and indefinite strike called for by grass roots organizations and renters unions will begin, involving both those who cannot afford it but also by those who, out of solidarity, do not want only the weakest to be hit by the economic crisis induced by the lockdowns.

The call to a rent strike started from two very different places, coincidentally in the far west of Europe and America: the Canary Islands and the West Coast. In the Canaries, it was proclaimed by a trade union born with the occupations of the squares in 2011, which for almost a decade organized the tenants of the poorest areas of the city of Las Palmas to resist evictions.


Rent strike initiatives / demands

USA: Rent Strike 2020 is an activist organization based in the USA working to build a nationwide mutual aid community and working-class power during the Coronavirus outbreak. We are a disaster relief organization owned and controlled by regular working people. Our demands to every Governor, in every state, are extremely simple: freeze rent, mortgage, and utility bill collection for 2 months, or face a rent strike.

NORTH AMERICA: [map](( of the rent strike campaign in the United States and Canada.

BARCELONA (ES): Sindicat de Llogaters i llogateres di Barcellona (ES)

GRAN CANARIAS (ES): Sindicato de Inquilinas de Gran Canaria

RENT STRIKE LONDON (UK): London Renters’ Solidarity Group

ITALY: A fast-growing movement is organizing Italian rent strike. A large Telegram chat serves to coordinate numerous regional groups and support people every step of the way. Instructions are available on a website, and there are regular collective calls using Jitsi. The interesting aspect is that the movement is addressing both tenants and owners with the aim to make banks pay for the crisis and not people.

Also, the tenants union ASSOCIAZIONI INQUILINI E ABITANTI has started a campaign demanding a rent suspension.

LONDON (UK): The London Renters Union prepared a Q&A about tenants’ rights during the Coronavirus pandemic and a template letter you can use to start conversations with landlords about the rent crisis (en espaΓ±ol).

BAY AREA, California: Bay Area residents are joining forces to call for a region-wide, complete with map and strike resources. #BayAreaRentStrike

CROATIA: In a petition letter, the Right to the City - Zagreb has called on the government to suspend all evictions, mortgage payments and rent payments for anyone affected by the pandemic as well as to secure public housing for all homeless persons. As the Croatian rent market is a predominantly black market, the Right to the City - Zagreb has also initiated a tenant mutual support group on Facebook to acquaint tenants with and organise around their rights.

Other news

Italy: The Tenants Union Unione Inquilini has written an open letter to the Pope, demanding that the Vatican renounces to collect rents during the quarantine and makes available the empty housing units it owns for the homeless and the infected. The Vatican owns 20% of Italy’s real estate assets (around 115.000 housing buildings).

Moreover, in Milan, the news portal Off Topic responded to the call of the municipality seeking empty flats to face the rising housing emergency in the city with an infographic detailing all of the 6489 empty Airbnb apartments currently available. The map was created by Inside Airbnb, an independent, non-commercial set of tools and data that allows you to explore how Airbnb is really being used in cities around the world.


(critical thinking and historical analysis pieces - also not corona-specific, but about the issue in focus)

Rent Strike? A Strategic Appraisal of Rent Strikes throughout Historyβ€”and Today

Other resources

(links to other repositories, syllabi, practical adivses, how-to, etc.)

Guide by Food not Rent campaign, L.A. (USA)

A step-by-step guide to protecting yourself as much as you can while not paying rent during the COVID crisis, by the Food Not Rent campaign in Los Angeles, USA. Included below is a letter to send to your landlord, notifying them that you will not be paying your rent for the month, as well as instructions on how to join online meetings of your Local Chapter of the L.A. Tenants Union, so that so that your decision or inability to pay will be joined with that of tenants across LA. You are not alone. Together we can demand the rent forgiveness we so clearly need. Share this guide with your family, your friends, and your neighbours:

Toolkit from 5 Demands campaign (USA)

The toolkit is a step-by-step guide with links to organizational tools and online resources to help you build collective power within your communities and leverage it against your landlords.

Resource and Organizing Package for the 2020 Pandemic #CANCELRENT #RENTSTRIKE #CANTPAYWONTPAY (USA)

With 59% of Americans living paycheck-to-paycheck and so many confined in isolation, it is obvious that many people are just not going to be able to pay their rents or mortgages for some time. While many states have passed 90-day eviction moratoriums and stays for mortgage holders, there are still few protections for renters, who are fast becoming among the most vulnerable people in our society. Even many leading retailers have announced they will stop paying rent. Surely some will be able to work things out with compassionate landlords, but many will need to band together to resist predation. This document is for all of you.