Breaking: Holding and storage fees for LSE accommodation have been scrapped

LSE has agreed to scrap the £25 per week holding fee for those living in LSE student accommodation, according to the LSE Student Union. 

The fee was previously in place for those currently not able to return to LSE student halls due to the national lockdown implemented on January 5th 2021. The School has not yet officially contacted students living in halls with this information, but it has been announced by the Student Union and LSE Rent Strike movement. 

Whilst students were offered the opportunity to move out of halls and complete an early leavers form, this was simply not possible for many individuals due to both the national lockdown preventing movement across the UK and the fact that international students are still overseas as a result of the Christmas break. Therefore, most students not in halls were forced into paying the £25 holding fee with minimal other options to pursue. 

The exact reasoning behind this policy U-turn is unknown, but the tireless campaigning efforts from the LSE Rent Strike movement played a significant role in influencing the policy change. Tori Anderson has been leading the movement. She said, “We find the holding fee concession hopeful, but its divisive nature should not be neglected.

“Whilst it is a victory for any student who was able to leave halls before the lockdown began, there are still hundreds of students, mainly international students, who are still caged in halls and forced to pay extortionate rent for poor quality residences in return. We will continue to campaign on their behalf.”

Emerson Murphy, who has been an active member of the group, added: “Yes the decision made by the LSE was definitely positive but they need to go much further and agree to an annual 30% rent reduction. [The news] shows the power of the rent strike – management would never have agreed to it without pressure from the strike and the Student Union.”

Indeed, LSE students living outside of LSE managed student accommodation are still facing holding fees and, in some cases, full rent fees for rooms they are not legally able to return to. Emerson, who is staying in University of London halls, said: “University of London management needs to agree to meet with the rent strikers, listen to our concerns and agree to our demands. We are striking for a 40% annual rent reduction, no forced staff redundancies, and the scrapping of these storage fees.”

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