UoB refuse to compensate students for awful living conditions in University halls of residence
Cut The Rent is fighting back against the Uni which is refusing to grant compensation
150 UoB students are currently on a rent strike to protest the sub-standard living conditions that they were subjected to this year in University halls of residence.
The Cut The Rent campaigners presented University Management with multiple cases of neglect across different halls of residences, however the University refuses to compensate students for poor conditions.
"Our flat flooded due to water leaking on the floor above…we were left a mere post-it note saying that someone would come to fix it in the morning…they decided they couldn't do anything, and left us with buckets to clean up the water ourselves." – Lily
What is worse than too much water? No water, none at all.
"No water in September meant that we had to have cold showers or no showers, and sometimes even forcing us to use bottles of water just to wash." – Isaac & Jemima
Other students reported infestations of maggots and worms in the halls bathrooms.
"The bathrooms were never cleaned [despite us paying for weekly cleaners] and we have even had worms/maggot infestations in our bathrooms at points. Whenever we emailed or complained, the maintenance staff simply sent back excuses." – Emma
"My electronic door lock had an ongoing fault which meant that I would be frequently locked out of my room. The issue was reported every single time but it was not fixed." – Jalan
Cut The Rent has secured some concessions from the University over the past academic year. Management cut the rent of 431 rooms to below half the maximum maintenance loan students receive from the Government, an increase from 1% of beds to 5%.
They also successfully lobbied for a 50% increase in the accommodation bursary pot by 2020/21.
Cut The Rent told The Tab "we will be continuing the strike, and will push management to compensate and apologise to students who have been living in such unsafe and insanitary conditions during the last academic year."
A University of Bristol spokesperson said: “The University has held a number of productive meetings with Bristol Cut the Rent and Bristol SU in recent months to discuss the price and quality of the accommodation we offer. All involved have the students’ best interests at heart and want every student to feel safe and supported, in affordable accommodation.
“A number of actions have been agreed at these meetings in relation to the affordability of rent, provision of accommodation bursaries, emergency housing, clarity with regards compensation for those with outstanding maintenance issues, and the transparency of how student rent is spent.
“In terms of room maintenance repairs and where services or facilities are not provided for an unexpectedly long period of time, the University has a protocol whereby compensation payments can be made. This is considered on a case by case basis. Any students who have not had their reported concerns addressed in relation to the fitness of their accommodation, including incomplete repairs, are encouraged to contact the University again to resolve the issue.”
For more information about Cut The Rent, visit their Facebook page.