Rent Strike Website & Campaign Hub Launch!

Rent Strike, the national network of “Cut The Rent” groups who organised relevant actions, have launched their new website. It includes information on how to get involved in pre-existing campaigns on your campus, as well as an extensive step by step guide of how to start and run your own student housing campaign and rent strike.

In 2016, 1000 UCL students went on rent strike, demanding lower rents and better conditions. They won. Since then, rent strikes have been organised at Goldsmiths, Bristol, Sussex, Courtauld Institute of Art, Roehampton and SOAS, as well as again every year since 2016 at UCL, collectively winning millions of pounds in rent cuts and compensation.

RENT STRIKE, the national network of “Cut The Rent” groups who organised these actions, have launched their new website, with information of how to get involved in pre-existing campaigns on your campus, as well as an extensive, step by step guide of how to start and run your own student housing campaign and rent strike.

You can view the new websitehere.

 At NUS, we have clear policy on what constitutes a fair and affordable rent: where 25 per cent of all bed-spaces are offered at 50 per cent of the maximum amount of student finance. According to the Accommodation Costs Survey only 0.8 per cent of the accommodation on offer at UCL could be considered affordable. When students look to apply to university, it is no surprise that huge living costs can be a deterrent.


Our National Conference mandated NUS to provide assistance to students taking part in rent strikes in 2017 and we are happy to share the amazing organising work going on now!

 

But why rent strike?


There is currently a rent crisis at universities. In some campuses rent has doubled over the past decade, and continues to go up every year, all whilst universities are making large surpluses.

 

Through coming together in our university halls and taking action against universities crippling accommodation costs, not only are we defending an attack on our education, but we are also creating a university that is more affordable and accessible for future students who otherwise wouldn’t be able to attend university.

 

Collective action and rent strikes have proven extremely effective. Victories include a 1.2 million rent cut at UCL and a 35% backdated rent cut at Goldsmiths. Providing students with the experience and knowledge to ensure they can defend themselves in an ever more hostile environment for tenants in the UK, particularly those of low-income backgrounds and/or marginalised communities

Furthermore this rent crisis does not exist in a vacuum. At our universities we also have a mental health crisis, a crisis of accessibility and affordability - an attack on one of these crises is an attack on them all. By fighting for lower rents, we are fighting for fairer and more accessible universities.

 

Head to the rent strike website to find out, amongst other things, how to:

  • Research into your university’s financial and organisational planning;

  • Convince other students to join you in fighting for a fairer university;

  • Take collective and sustained action against unfair policies undertaken by your university management;

  • Negotiate with your university management;

  • Contact the media to get your story out into the rest of the world;

  • Ensure your organising is intersectional and accessible for all students.

For NUS guidance students and student officers have a look here.