This week the National Union of Students (NUS) have called for a wave of national rent strikes from students following outrage at the high levels of rent they must pay.
Research that was published by NUS earlier this week showed that a standard three-year undergraduate degree can leave a student with debts of up to £35,000, or more depending on the rent agreed with landlords and private halls located close to big city universities.
Moreover, the problem worsens as the report, entitled Double Jeopardy, also shows that over half of graduates will return to living in the family home after their course finishes in order to save money due to lack of job prospects.
This comes after the news of a new bill being passed in parliament which could allow UK Tuition fees to rise again in the coming years to supposedly ‘improve competitiveness’ of educational institutions.
The solution? NUS have demanded fair rent structures for students which includes stopping landlords charging the value of more than 50% of student finance available to students. Movements are expected to start on the weekend of September 16th when UCL activists will host a training course entitled “Rent Strikes / Weekender”. The course will provide logistical and financial support.
However, these planned actions of stopping rent pay aren’t the first. In June earlier this year, thousands of UCL rent strikers refused to pay rent which amounted to over £1,000,000. But why didn’t they get evicted?
NUS welfare officer Shelly Asquith has been quoted as saying “Universities have a duty of care for their students, there’s no way they should be pushing them out onto the street for political actions. Threats of evictions tend to be mere threats, and there’s some things we can do with regards to eviction resistance…”.