UCL reducing and freezing rents for more than 1,200 rooms
4 March 2016
UCL has announced a number of measures it will be taking to improve the affordability of UCL accommodation, with rents being either reduced or frozen for 1,224 rooms from next year, representing around 30% of the accommodation it owns.
These measures were set out at a meeting between UCL Estates and students and members of the Cut the Rent campaign held last night at Max Rayne House.
Taking effect from 2016/17, UCL will:
- Reduce the rent by £21 per week for 186 smaller rooms in Arthur Tattersall, John Tovell, Campbell House, John Adams and Langton Close
- Freeze the rent for our 536 cheapest rooms
- Reduce the rent of 502 rooms at Ramsay Hall
- Increase the number of twin rooms at Hawkridge House to offer the cheapest rate across all of UCL’s accommodation.
UCL has also undertaken to consider further opportunities to increase the number of lower cost rooms in the Bloomsbury area.
Andrew Grainger, Director of UCL Estates, said: “We understand the pressures caused by housing costs and the shortage of affordable accommodation in central London. This represents a challenge for both the university and students and is one that UCL wishes to address, working with students.
“These measures further underline UCL’s resolve to set its rents at the lowest possible rate in an expensive environment, and will further ensure that our rates are competitive in comparison both with other London institutions and the private sector.
“We have close to 5,000 students living in UCL accommodation, and it is important that we demonstrate to them our commitment to reduce their financial burden. Currently 37 students have notified us that they are part of the rent strike and are withholding rent. Contrary to reports, UCL has not begun any formal proceedings against those students, although we have written to all students with overdue payments requesting that they pay the balance or agree a payment plan with us.
“The reductions and freezes announced will not solve the problem, but they are a step in the right direction. We will continue to communicate and engage with all our students on what we are doing to deliver high quality accommodation at the most affordable price. I expect further progress in coming months.”