Rent strikes continue after ‘measly’ compensation offer from UCL
£30,000 just won’t cut it
Residents at Hawkridge have continued their rent strike despite UCL finally offering compensation for the disturbances of on-site building work.
The 238 students have been offered £132.30 each (one weeks rent), totalling at a cost of £31,487 for the university.
The “vital” construction work, which was supposed to be completed by January 2015 is ongoing and disrupting revision in the build up to exams.
UCLU claim a week’s worth of rent to each resident is not enough and “students at Hawkridge deserve better”.
David Dahlborn, UCLU accommodation officer, said: “We have seen the college cave in twice in a very short time, but we are pushing for more. I am confident we can win again.”
Dahlborn continued: “UCL make something in the region of £400,000 from Hawkridge which comes out of students’ pockets.
“Furthermore, residents and I argue that the rent charge of £132pw was too high from the start. The rooms are, fundamentally, overvalued. This is why we are pushing for a refund.”
One student, who wishes to remain anonymous, complained: “There are people with asthma whose conditions worsened due the dust and poor ventilation.
“Privacy is an issue too. Because of the drilling in the outer walls, contractors transit to one place to another through the scaffolding.
“Most people have their curtains closed during working hours to avoid the possibility of being seen by them.
“And most of all, as soon as the scaffolding was entirely set, a mice pest spread swiftly.”
The work has been postponed until the end of exams as part of the compensation package, but Head of UCL Residential Accommodation, William Wilson (what a great name), has stated that it will begin again on June 1st.