Rent Negotiations and the Hall Scheme
Good morning Keble!
The rent deal for next year was approved by Governing Body yesterday, so we are happy to finally announce the figures.
Rent will increase for next year by 3.58%
Prices in Hall will be fixed and a new hall scheme has been agreed such that for every weekday evening meal you have in hall 10p will be taken off. So the first meal will be £4.28, the second £4.18, the third £4.08 and so on. If you attend all 40 sittings of hall in a term your average meal cost will be £2.28
In order to secure the rent figure we reduced the deficit in the Domestic Account (the one we have to balance) by £40,000, meaning that next year’s committee should be starting from inflation.
So hall will be a lot cheaper, rent has gone up by inflation and from this point on Keble should be looking to agree rent at least at the inflation level, and potentially below it. This leaves us still very low on the table comparing rents between colleges.
These are the headline figures however below is an explanation of how we got to them for those interested.
College offered us a figure of 6.1% which was comprised of:
VNI for the next year of 2.9%. This is the expected inflation for Oxford Colleges calculated by the Bursar’s Committee.
An adjustment for an undervaluation of last year’s VNI of 0.68%. Bursar’s committee also calculated that their prediction last year was an underestimate, given how much colleges have actually spent, accordingly they want to make up for this this year.
A 2.5% structural deficit in the Domestic Account. College is being run well when its three accounts break even. Domestic Account which we primarily contribute to consistently is in loss. In order to deal with this the Bursar wanted to make an increase in our rents of 2.5% which would eradicate a £50,000 deficit last year.
The MCR President and Treasure El Jaskowska and Jack Rowse, joined me and Rishi in tackling this figure. After many hours going through college’s accounts we found miscaluclations in the Photocopying account, telephone account, and the allocation of Hall Staff costs. We managed to challenge this figure and have the costs shifted to other accounts. This resulted in the removal of the structural deficit as noted above and therefore the 2.5% was removed from the offer.
We are happy with the final figure given that we had the highest offer of any Oxford college this year and we have to thank the Bursar and College for being so reasonable and open to us looking into the accounting system.