Housing & Rent

Rent Strike Action


NUS has a crystal clear policy position to support all Cut the Rent and Rent Strike campaigns across the country.
In 2016, 1000 UCL students went on rent strike and won. The following year, at National Conference, NUS was mandated to support students who were participating in rent strikes. 
Working with RENT STRIKE, the national network of “Cut The Rent” groups, NUS supported subsequent strikes at GoldsmithsBristolSussex, Courtauld Institute of Art, Roehampton and SOAS, as well as again every year since 2016 at UCL.
On 16 October 2019, the student Rent Strike/Cut the Rent network called a Day of Action against unaffordable rents, dodgy landlordism and unacceptable conditions in student accommodation. 

Find out more at Rent Strike UK & check out our campaign page here.

Here you can find our practical guide to organising a rent strike and understanding the legal risks.

COVID-19: Housing and rent action


We have prepared a briefing to support SUs to take action locally to secure action on NUS’ five demands for student renters during the Covid-19 crisis.

Good Law Project

As part of the #StudentsDeserveBetter campaign, we’re teaming up with the Good Law Project, who wants to take a case on students being unfairly trapped in their contracts even when all their teaching has gone online. 
They’re looking for students who, in short;

o    are living in uni accommodation,
o    have moved fully to online teaching
o    have no flexibility to leave their accommodation contract to go home without financial penalty
Click here to find out more. 


Accessible Housing Campaign Briefing


Our Accommodation Cost Survey 2018 found both the university-owned and private sector student accommodation sector is severely failing to meet the needs of disabled students – with 14% of universities and 62% of private providers offering no accommodation that is adapted for an ambulatory disability.
This toolkit explains the problems with accessible housing in the UK and ways to campaign for improvements. 

Organisations where you can get further advice and support:

Shelter - the housing and homelessness charity: Shelter helps millions of people every year struggling with bad housing or homelessness through our advice, support, and legal services
Helpline: 0808 800 4444
Citizens Advice – Online free advice from Citizens Advice to help you find a way forward, whatever the problem. 
Adviceline (England): 0800 144 8848
Advicelink (Wales): 03444 77 20 20

NUS Wins


•    NUS has worked alongside a coalition of renters’ organisations to repeal Section 21, which the government has announced it is planning to do.
•    NUS helped lobby for the Homes (fitness for human habitation) Act 2019

•    NUS helped lobby for the introduction of the Tenant Fees Act 2019
•    We successfully lobbied for the recent Augar Review to include recommendations around the cost of Purpose-Built Student Accommodation, secured additions to Sadiq Khan’s new ‘London Plan’ forcing private accommodation providers to have both a formal relationship with an educational provider and to have 35% of their bedrooms at an affordable price.

National Activity


NUS is regularly engaged in lobbying and campaigns on the issue of student accommodation.
Our movement only continues to grow, and we have seen new, vibrant campaigns kick-off in places like Sheffield, York and Durham demonstrating that the student-housing crisis truly is a national problem! The impact of covid-19 on students’ return to campus in 2020, where students have found themselves locked into tenancy contracts they no longer need, has renewed calls for rent strikes across the country. NUS partnered with Rent Strike UK to provide training for student organisers and we have seen a wave of rent strikes kick off already.
We have set up a Housing Campaign hub with a plethora of research and resources going back many years for students’ unions to access.
We continue to respond to a range of government consultations and our Homes Fit for Study research will inform and support future campaigning to improve student accommodation. 


Useful Articles & Campaigns Pages