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Manchester students evicted by University after demanding 30% rent reduction

manchester student evictions

Manchester students occupying a university-owned building in a protest over rent costs and living conditions have been ejected by bailiffs.

Manchester University says their action was illegal and that it was granted a possession order by the High Court. When the 20 strikers refused to leave, they were forcibly removed.

The students are demanding a 30% rent cut backdated to October, a cap on rent for the next three years, for the university to aim to provide student halls that meet the NUS definition of affordable and for no disciplinary action to be taken against strikers.

"About 250 students were reported to have cancelled payments in January, arguing that they were struggling to buy food."

The group says: 'The university has made it clear that they would rather drag their students out of a building than listen to our concerns.

"The cost-of-living crisis isn't going anywhere, and neither are we. Occupations are only one of many tactics, and this eviction will not slow down our campaign one bit.'�

A university spokesman says its actions follow multiple requests to those occupying the building to leave.

He adds: 'We very much regret having to do this, but the situation has been going on for a significant amount of time and has caused ongoing disruption to students and the people who work in the building.'�

In a statement published on the university website last month, Patrick Hackett, registrar, secretary and COO, said although it recognised there was a shortage in supply of housing and particularly student accommodation, its costs were very competitive both in the city and across universities.

The strikes will remind many readers of the later months of Covid when rent strikes spread to multiple campuses across the UK.

Picture credits: UoM Rent strike 2023.

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