Students are being evicted from university residences as a result of holding rent strikes during the Covid-19 pandemic, it is claimed.
Organisers of the ongoing protest at Queen Mary University of London (QMUL) say 20 students have been evicted from halls since September, leaving many homeless because of the university’s “draconian measures”.
Activists contend those kicked out are among 350 QMUL students refusing to pay rent, and minor infringements are being used as an excuse to evict them.
The university says no-one has been served a “notice to quit” as a result of their rent protest, and that asking anyone to leave would only be prompted by “serious breaches of their contracts”. It added “repeatedly breaching coronavirus regulations” would leave it with “no option but to request that they leave”.
Protesters also say the university’s management has not met with any strike organisers, despite requests.
A wave of university rent strikes have taken place across the UK during the pandemic amid frustration over hall lockdowns, paying for empty rooms and limited face-to-face teaching.
QMUL Rent Strike, which is mobilising students, says evictees have had “do not re-house” notices placed on their files, and are being charged administration costs.
It also accuses QMUL of a “double standard” as students are being evicted for breaching fire safety rules despite fire risk assessments exposing multiple faults with the buildings they live in have. QMUL Rent Strike is calling on the university to rescind the “notices to quit” and halt further evictions.