"Rent Strikes" lead to £1million settlement for students

A student from UCL has posted a blog entry on the Guardians website describing the benefit of refusing to pay University housing rent.

The student went on to describe what life is like in these overly-expensive halls, stating that some had claimed “rat infestations and loud, building work was stopping some from studying.”

Last year the average student university rent was £226 per week in London, compared to £134 across the rest of the country.

They felt the extortionate prices lead to them feeling “isolated,””stressed,” and “like they had no control.”

They said that the main issue was that it was stopping students from poorer backgrounds studying at their Universities.

They explained that “with the high prices, people had to find money from external sources, such as parents, and that would stop poorer families being able to send their child to UCL."

But once they had gone on the ‘rent strike’ they felt they had more power, as well as feeling like they were “part of a community.”

They claimed that before the strike, they “barely saw their roommates, but now there is a feeling of togetherness and community. It is a happier place.”

Back in January the strike began and since then, UCL agreed a settlement of over £1million in rent cuts, freezes and grants for poorer students.

While that was a step in the right direction, the strike goes on, as well as events such as the “rent strike weekender,” three days of workshops, skill-shares and parties.

Just goes to show that students do have a voice, and they can make a difference.

Yesterday, Radical Housing Net posted a video campaigning for students to get their rent back.