Bristol Cut the Rent are picketing this Friday

The average rent next year will be over £6,000

Picketing will take place this Friday at Wills Hall following announcements the university is planning further rent hikes.

Under the new proposals, the average rent cost in halls will be over £6,000 for 42 weeks. Rents have increased by up to 49 per cent over the course of four years making them unaffordable for many new students coming to Bristol in the next academic year.

Second year Social Policy student, Elly Hodges, who organised the protest told The Tab that Cut the Rent Bristol, was named to show solidarity with students on strike in London.

The proposed rent increase will be discussed by the university’s Board of Trustees this Friday at Wills Hall. Bristol Cut the Rent have organised a protest outside the meeting to show the Board that students strongly oppose the rent increase.

Hugh Brady, the Vice-Chancellor, has suggested that the university may be able to provide bursaries to help cover accommodation costs for those in need. This was following a petition launched by SU officers.

Elly said: “This would be welcomed, but is only the first step in the fight against unfair and unaffordable rents. Ultimately, prices must be lowered, and students must have a real say in how much they pay.”

(Graph copyright: Rachel Dinning)

As well as vocalising their concerns, Cut the Rent Bristol hope to secure a long term agreement with the university. They are affiliated with Acorn, a community union who primarily focus on tacking issues in the private rental sector. As a group, Bristol Cut the Rent will be aiming to sign student landlords up to Acorn’s Ethical Lettings Charter.

The charter ensures that landlords comply with the law, that there’s security of tenure, access and affordability and also that a level of quality is upheld. A spokesperson said: “Obviously it will have to be tweaked for student landlords, but signing up to it means that Acorn can see all of the properties that the landlord has and inspect them to make sure they’re upholding the charter.

“It is hard to get landlords to sign up, but we put pressure on them until they do.”