Castle in the air_Camelot from Home base on Vimeo.

Last Tuesday we participated with a number of Amsterdam members of the BPW in an action at a new complex of container homes near Sloterdijk station. The action, organized by the Amsterdam student association ASVA, tried yet another illegal attempt by Camelot to challenge the exploitation of residents.

A castle in the air was set up in front of the complex and a banner was hung: CAMELOT RENTS AIR CASTLES. A great action and a striking message, an action that also promises to be the beginning of a further collaboration with the Bond Precaire Woonvorm.

The newly built complex is a good example of the transition that Camelot has initiated from Anti-squat to Anti-rent company. A transition initiated in their search for more effective means to extort more money from residents.

The container homes are rented out under various temporary contracts that in many cases only last four months. After these four months, the resident is made homeless without mercy, but not before he has first taken a lot of money from him. This is because the resident is forced to pay a range of additional costs when signing the contract, costs that are by no means reasonable or permitted by law.

Because a company like Camelot, despite the many scandals in recent years, is still barely monitored, it can continue to engage in such practices undisturbed. The tenants find themselves in uncertain and dependent situations, which means that they will not go to court quickly, especially since the costs that they could claim back in many cases are not much higher than the costs for a lawyer. On initiative of !WOON a number of tenants have now managed to organize themselves and have started a lawsuit together to claim their rights.

After the occupation of the Bungehuis and the Maagdenhuis, ASVA seems to have adopted a more activist attitude, of which this action is an example. A positive signal that is much needed in the fight to claim our rights and end the exploitation of tenants.