Sheffield students plan a rent strike as university tensions increase
It’s set to be the largest rent strike in 40 years
Sheffield University students are preparing to strike against rent payments on their return to the city after Christmas break. It is to be one of the largest rent strikes in four decades.
During semester one, rent strikes were held at universities across the UK. At Manchester University, they were successful and students in halls managed to get a 30 percent cut on their rent, worth up to £900.
Last month, The Tab reported on furious students at the University of Sheffield threatening a rent strike and demanding a 30 percent rent refund.
Since then, groups at Sheffield Hallam have also called for rent strikes. Organisers told The Star:
“The amount of money we have been forced to pay this year for the quality of education and lack of support is shameful. We were brought to university under false pretences as Hallam and our landlords treat us as their cash cows.”
At midnight on 31 December, coronavirus restrictions were tightened across the UK, meaning more of the country has entered tier 4. In these areas, all non-essential shops and beauty salons are now closed and pubs and restaurants remain shut.
Whilst South Yorkshire remains in tier 3, the government has advised students to remain at home until face-to- face teaching resumes at both universities. This means students face paying for accommodation in Sheffield that they will not return to.
Alongside rent payments, Sheffield students are striking against the nine-grand fee that they are still having to pay in full, despite most teaching being online this year. Students are also striking against the government’s lack of support given to students in the current circumstances and the detrimental effect it has had on their mental health and student experience.