WHY WE'RE STRIKING
& Why We Need Your Solidarity
COVID-19 has led to a massive societal shift for everybody. We're seeing suffering and pain impact every aspect of our lives. Financially the world is absolutely ruined, consumerist greed is being challenged by a society which needs care and aid not mindless damaging growth.
Providers of housing, whether it be landlords or faceless massive corporate bodies such as the Sanctuary Group, have responded to the crisis by furthering their exploitation and lining their pockets in these times. Unsurprisingly compassion is not a priority for a group of people who profit off exploitation, gentrification and the housing crisis.
We are a group of individuals at Universities across the United Kingdom who are facing completely avoidable mental and financial strain due to the greed of the Sanctuary Group (the parent corporation of Sanctuary Students) and other housing providers such as Urbanest & Optivo.
By refusing to let students out of their contracts early, give refunds and treat their tenants with dignity they are actively profiting off this crisis. Other providers in the sector have moved to allow people freedom from their contracts and safe return of their possessions. The inaction by these profiteers is what led to our declaration of a rent strike at the start of April 2020.
There are currently hundreds of students across the country on rent strike, who are being targeted and intimidated by housing providers.
Threatened with arrears letters and removal of our personal property we need solidarity as much as possible right now. So please explore the site and our campaign to see how you can help out!
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
I WANT TO JOIN THE RENT STRIKE! WHAT DO I NEED TO DO?
If you have managed to block your payment, congratulations! Keep that payment blocked to ensure they cannot take your funds if they attempt to do so again. If you didn't manage to block the payment in time, that's OK as well - you can still help in other ways! Head over to our How To Support The Campaign page for ideas of what you can do!
I’M WORRIED THAT I MIGHT BE EVICTED/HAVE LEGAL ACTION TAKEN AGAINST ME FOR PARTICIPATING IN THIS STRIKE. IS THAT POSSIBLE?
It is definitely possible, but very unlikely. The eviction moratorium notwithstanding, evicting students would represent an enormous case of endangering students, which would not only be a PR nightmare for Sanctuary Students, but our schools would be forced to become involved in the situation. Nonetheless, we have spoken with a law firm who has agreed to represent us in this matter should the need arise. So, if any legal action is threatened against you, contact us immediately and we will make sure you are protected.
I DIDN’T SEND AN E-MAIL TO SANCTUARY STUDENTS TELLING THEM I HAVE LEFT, AND THAT I’M PARTICIPATING IN THE RENT STRIKE. IS IT WORTH IT FOR ME TO DO SO? ESPECIALLY IF I’VE LEFT SOME OF MY BELONGINGS BEHIND?
YES. Please do as soon as possible. If we want Sanctuary Students to take us seriously, they need to know just how many students are actually in the halls, and how many have left. Moreover, they need to know that a significant number of us are actually participating in the rent strike, and that we aren’t just making it up to pressure them. Please send that e-mail as soon as possible, with your date of departure, whether or not you left things behind, and whether or not you are participating in the rent strike.
I'VE RECEIVED A RENT ARREARS LETTER AND IT'S STRESSING ME OUT. WHAT DOES IT MEAN FOR ME AND WHAT SHOULD I DO ABOUT IT?
We hear you. This whole situation is stressful, and things like "Rent Arrears" sounds serious! The good news is it is not a threat of legal action, nor does it have any impact on your current situation. It's just a fancy way to say you haven't paid yet. The use technical language such as "Rent Arrears" is an intimidation tactic, but it doesn't require action on your part.
WHO ARE THE SANCTUARY GROUP?
The Sanctuary Group are an organised group who claim to be providing housing services for the public good. However as a group that directly profits from gentrification in major UK cities their status as a charity needs to be examined further. Their student subsidiary Sanctuary Students turns a massive profit by overcharging students in the UK for housing which is often plagued by issues such as pest infestations and unsafe living conditions. The COVID-19 crisis has exposed the worst of their practices, they have been carrying on with as 'business as usual' mantra, continuing charging students full rent in spite of the fact that universities across the country have moved to online teaching, students no longer have a reason to stay in their properties and they are not allowing people to be released from their contracts during this crisis.