Following successful negotiations with university management, UCL Cut the Rent (UCL CTR) held a victory demonstration in central London, to coincide with UCL’s open day.
Representatives from UCL halls met with Vice Provost Rex Knight, Head of Estates Andrew Grainger and Interim Head of Accommodation Duncan Palmer as the university tried to bring the strike to an end.
While details of the final settlement have not been released, London Student understands that UCL has pledged at least £350,000 to lower rents for next years’ students.
In an effort to break the strike, UCL had imposed a £25 fee on every student who hadn’t settled their accommodation bill, and also threatened to pass student debts on to a debt collection agency.
The email stated: “You should be aware that, in the event of non-payment, the external debt recovery process would lead to Court proceedings being brought against you and a Court judgment being sought. A Court judgment could have negative repercussions for you, for example in relation to your future credit rating.”
But today students on strike marched in a ‘victory lap’ around UCL campus, before joining housing activists to protest outside the Mayfair offices of Savills estate agents.
Rent strike organiser Angus O’Brien said: “We’ve forced UCL into massive concessions over the price of rent. This may not be the biggest win ever, it’s not our 40% yet, but we forced Rex Knight to get in a room with us after we burned his effigy, and by taking radical, sustained action we’ve made life at UCL better for future students.”