Credit: Manchesterphotos - Wikimedia

90% of students battle housing problems from rats to no water

New research reveals the shocking conditions of student accommodation across the UK, and the effects on those who have to live in it.

Statistics reveal that student 90% of students face housing problems at university from rats, no running water and even bed bugs.

Despite this, average rents swallow 100% of the maintenance loan, leaving students in financial stress.

The research found that a third of students in the UK goes without heating or running water in their property.

One in five students share their student accommodation with slugs, rodents or bed bugs.

Accommodation pictures from a case study at University of Southampton

Most students believe that they are not getting ‘value for money’ with student accommodation, with half of ALL students struggling to pay rent.

Even though the rent swallows 100% of their student maintenance loan, one in five parents will gives £5,200 a year towards their child’s accommodation.

Rip-off student accommodation leaves tenants battling horrific conditions, unaffordable rents and poor mental health, the National Student Accommodation Survey 2019 has found.

The research, by advice site Save the Student, surveyed 2,196 students in January. Their responses highlight a UK-wide scandal of overpriced and unsafe student housing, with 90% reporting a problem with their accommodation .

While fellow residents are a top cause of complaints, the vast majority are maintenance issues that leave students without basic services or living in unsafe conditions – despite paying average rents of £125 per week (£541 per month).

The 10 biggest issues for student renters

  1. Noisy housemates (45%)
  2. Damp (35%)
  3. Housemates stealing food (33%)
  4. Lack of water/heating (32%)
  5. Disruptive building work (20%)
  6. Inappropriate landlord visits (16%)
  7. Rodents & pests (16%)
  8. Dangerous conditions (5%)
  9. Burglary (5%)
  10. Bed bugs (3%)
Student accommodation pictures sent by Brighton student

Kelly-Anne Watson, Delivery Officer for student housing charity Unipol said that they should work with universities to improve standards for student accommodation so it prevents ‘further barriers into education’. 
She said: “It’s imperative for ourselves, universities, and students unions to be educating students on their rights and to give well informed advice on housing.

We must work collectively as a sector to improve standards and make sure that there are a range of varied rents for students to choose from, so there are not further barriers into education.

We’d encourage providers to voluntarily join one of three national codes: UUK, ANUK and Unipol. Within a code, it is unacceptable for landlords to ignore reported issues such as the 1/3 of students (from this survey) who report living with damp, or without hot water and heating.”

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Claisse Opulencia

Editor-in-Chief of Unified. Claisse is a third year multimedia journalism student at CCCU. Amnesty Media Award Finalist 2018, IRN Awards Runner-up 2018 and nominated for two SPA Awards 2018.

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