These UCL Students Are Receiving Compensation For Unacceptable Student Accommodation
A group of University College, London students who went on a rent strike in protest of the “unbearable” living conditions endured by those in some of the university’s accommodation has been awarded £100,000 in compensation. The students, who were living in Campbell House West, had been campaigning for action from the university for several months after finding it impossible to study or sleep because of noisy demolition works, rat infestations and generally unsanitary conditions.
One of the students involved in the strike, Kieran Howard, said: “I’m pleased that after months of campaigning we have been able to get what we sought after, which was not only compensation for the students affected but an admission of fault from UCL and an apology for the sub par accommodation.”
The victory is especially sweet for the students whose complaints were, according to another participant in the strike, Jamal Rizvi, said to have initially been met with “reluctant acceptance” on the university’s part and who were at first threatened with exclusion for refusing to pay their rent. The representative for halls and accommodation from the UCL Union, Angus O’Brien, criticised the university for not doing more to help the students due to being more interested in “the monetisation of the estate.”
In a letter, the university’s own complaints panel found that that the university showed a “lack of empathy” towards the students involved after saying: “Overall the living conditions with which the residents of Campbell House West were faced with were unacceptable and their experiences were not in-keeping with that expected for students of UCL.”
UCL will now be compensating each of the students an amount worth the equivalent of a term’s rent.