A NEWLY-FORMED community union is celebrating a victory after it was able to get a landlady to agree to their requests on behalf of a tenant.

Swindon ACORN – the local branch of the national community union – took action to defend one of its members from repeated threats of illegal eviction.

Last Friday the organisation met with the landlady involved in the dispute and she agreed to stop sending illegal Section 21 eviction notices – as well as paying £60 compensation for cleaning and broadband services included in the £395 monthly rent but not provided.

Membership secretary from ACORN Jon Timbrell, said: “It’s a job done as far as we’re concerned.

"It’s ridiculous that we had to go to the lengths that we did just to get an assurance that illegal eviction attempts would stop.”

Since early September the Station Road tenant had been issued with Section 21 notices via text message and in the form of a handwritten note, without the mandatory six-month notice period as required by law.

ACORN attempted to contact the landlady, but did not get any response until they attended the property when she was due to visit.

Jon said: “There are plenty of good landlords out there, but the amount of people we have spoken to in the six months since we’ve been in Swindon, who have landlords who really don’t feel like there’s any kind of code of conduct or legal framework that they have to operate within, is absolutely shocking.

“I think we are showing that when tenants stand up for themselves as a group, they can put an end to this sort of treatment, because I don’t think this is an isolated incident at all.

He added: “I’m hoping that as ACORN grows in Swindon there will be a ripple-out effect. I think we’ll always have problems in the private rental sector but I hope that we can step on some of the blatant abuses.

“I hope that when it gets know that we’re about it makes landlords feel a bit less confident in issuing completely illegal eviction notices and give tenants the confidence to stand up for themselves.”

The Adver approached the landlady for comment but did not receive a response.