Sussex Renters Union launches petition to withhold rent from uni

Sussex Renters Union is looking for student voices on the matter

The Sussex Renters Union have created a petition for students to fill out on the matter of withholding rent from the university. The petition cites the problems current students face with online teaching and mental health, saying it is unfair for people to be trapped in their contracts and face penalties for breaking them.

The petition (found here) aims to record the interest of students who are currently withholding, or planning to withhold, rent from Sussex. The goal is to unify student voices on the matter in order to have Sussex address the issue, before deciding whether a rent strike is needed. It was set up after growing numbers of students have expressed their dismay at being trapped in a tenancy contract forcing them to live in a situation they were not promised, following a previous petition with over 500 signatures calling for tenants to be allowed to leave their contracts.

The Renters Union have previously amassed over 500 signatures asking Sussex to release students from their contracts

The petition claims students were “tricked” into their tenancies under the promise of minimal disruption to normal university life, a statement already refuted, with the current second lockdown further limiting student life. University students have been warned not to go home for lockdown, leaving many campus residents stuck in halls with little in the way of a support network to aid in these challenging times.

An officer of the Students Union told the Sussex Tab that there are a number of factors to be considered before going ahead and calling a strike, the university’s response to the petition playing a key role in deciding.