One of many LSE halls of residence, Lilian Knowles House resides just five minutes' from Liverpool Street Station. Whilst it is recommended by LSE, and provided as an LSE halls of residence to students, it is managed and owned by Sanctuary Students. It often houses as many as 250 students, all of which are postgraduate LSE students.
While LSE has released students in all other LSE residences from their contracts should that be the wish of the tenant, Sanctuary Students are refusing to allow students at Lilian Knowles to end their contracts early. Many students left London during March in order to be with their families during the coming weeks and months, and also lost livelihoods such as part-time jobs. However, despite no longer staying in the halls, they are still being forced to pay.
We think this is deeply unfair, and demand action from Sanctuary Students and LSE. Sanctuary should be following the lead of Universities and other accommodation providers (such as Unite and Urbanest) in releasing students from their contracts. We also believe that LSE are have let students down, too. It is because of LSE’s nominations agreement with Sanctuary that these students are in these contracts to begin with – and while students in other LSE halls are free to leave their contracts, students at Lilian Knowles are stuck.
The Sabbatical Officer team has written a letter to Sanctuary Students with concerns around rent payments for LSE students at Lillian Knowles.
The Sabbatical Officer team have written a letter to LSE Directorate with concerns related to Sanctuary Students and a call to support the students residing in those residences with refunds.
Zulum Elumogo (General Secretary 2018-2020) and David Gordon (Community and Welfare Officer 2019-20) have actively reached out to the LSE students part of the #SanctuaryStrike campaign, and joined forces to pressure both Sanctuary Students and LSE to help the current students in residence at Lilian Knowles.
The Sabbatical Officer team has put together guidance on participating in rent strikes.
Sanctuary Rent Strike Website
Many of our students have provided us with a testimonial to really understand the impact the current situation is having on them. We will be uploading these in due course.