Friday 21-04-2017 - 12:29
Rent strikes have been a long-standing feature of the student movement. In recent years an unprecedented number of students across the country have decided to go on rent strike because they feel it is the only option left for them to oppose rising rents and poor conditions.
A ‘rent strike’ essentially involves an individual withholding rent. It is important to be aware that there is no legal right to withhold rent – it is a political action. A rent strike can be a powerful campaigning tool, especially when strikers join together to create a movement, however there are serious consequences that each individual needs to be aware of.
"Rent strikes are a historical tactic of the student movement - used as leverage not just for housing but for grants and other issues, too. In the last two years, and in the context of an affordability crisis in halls, rent strikes have picked up pace again. As your National Union, I felt it crucial we do all we can to ensure students and unions are equipped to both support action and understand the risks.”
Shelly Asquith, VP Welfare
NUS has developed a practical guide to help students and students' union officers organise effectively and understand the potential legal implications of going on rent strike. In addition to legal information, this guide includes a brief history of rent strikes, case studies, tips for campaigning and organising as well as sources of further information.
We hope this will support student activists to make informed decisions both now and in the future.