The Coronavirus crisis has left lots of us worried about how we’ll pay upcoming rent. Many of us have been laid off and face severe financial hardship with student loans that don’t cover our full rent and as students, no access to Universal Credit.
To fight back, rent strikes are currently being organised in both university-owned and private student accommodation, including student lettings companies.
Rent strikes have won big concessions. After 309 students pledged to join the rent strike, the University of Surrey announced on 25 March that students leaving accommodation no longer have to pay rent. Before the crisis hit, UCL students in Hawkridge House won the right to remain in their accommodation, after UCL had announced it was going to force them to move out.
Here are some resources to help you organise your own.
STRATEGY AND HOW-TO GUIDES
- RENT STRIKE are a national network of university Cut the Rent groups, who exist to spread rent strikes across the UK and Ireland. Their website has great resources, how-to guides and links.
FORM TO COLLECT PLEDGES
- Liberate the University’s form to collect pledges to join the rent strike. Feel free to use this as a template for making your own.
LETTER TO UNIVERSITY/HALL MANAGERS/STUDENT LETTINGS COMPANY
- Liberate the University’s letter to hall managers. Feel free to use this as a template for use on your own campus.
- COVID-19 Tenant Organising Toolkit produced by Chicago Autonomous Tenants Union (ATU)
- Advice and resources for private renters from the London Renters’ Union.
RENT STRIKES SO FAR