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Not a Penny on the Rents (1968)


Warning: screenonline full synopses contain 'spoilers' which give away key plot points. Don't read on if you don't want to know the ending!

Tower blocks, older terraced housing and flats under construction. A speaker denounces the rent increases of the Greater London Council (GLC) as benefiting only the council's moneylenders. He warns Horace Cutler, head of the Council's Housing Department, that the tenants will not pay any rent increase. Posters in the windows of council houses protest against the increase.

The speaker argues that the rent increase is wanted by the council to pay for future building and that this should not be funded by current tenants. The Centrepoint building and Tottenham Court Road. He calls on the council to occupy the building and convert it into flats. Slogans supporting a rent strike and calling for unity. A target appears over a drawing of Cutler and is shot at.

Protesting tenants in Trafalgar Square and under Charing Cross Bridge. Some describe the effect of the increasing rents. Speakers at a tenants' meeting announce the numbers from various estates of those who are withholding the rent increase. They contrast these figures with the low numbers given incorrectly in the press. The first speaker strongly criticises the press and characterises the campaign as one of working class solidarity. A bonfire on Guy Fawkes Night. Tenants chant a protest song and burn an effigy of Cutler.

An organiser of the Transport and General Workers Union for Smithfield and Billingsgate markets describes the union's response to resolutions supporting the tenants' campaign. Delegates are being sent to petition the council alongside tenants' representatives and, if eviction is threatened against union members, industrial action could be taken. A large night time march by tenants' associations and union members. Speakers encourage the tenants in their direct action and propose representation by tenants to protect their own interests.