Landlords are taking advantage of first-time student renters by failing to carry out repairs, according to a new poll.
A fresh report by the National Union of Students (NUS) reveals that students are finding renting difficult, in terms of affordability, poor conditions, and a lack of bargaining power with landlords.
More than a third of students have reported feeling anxious or depressed due to “appalling” living conditions and “exploitative” landlords, while the NUS report also suggests that around 20% of students have to deal with pests in their rented accommodation and almost half are living with damp and mould growing in their homes.
The NUS also found that 17% of students surveyed said their living conditions had worsened existing health conditions, while 12% believed they had developed a new health problem.
According to the NUS, around half of students spend more than 75% of their monthly income on housing costs, while almost half of student renters had not been provided with paperwork to prove their tenancy deposit is secured in a tenancy deposit scheme.
The NUS is now calling for the government to force landlords to improve standards for student renters.
Eva Crossan Jory, vice president of welfare for NUS, said: “Students are living in appalling circumstances, in some of the worst housing stock in the country.
“For too long, they have been taken advantage of by bad landlords who rely on students not knowing their rights, or what to expect, when they rent their first home.
“Living in damp and dangerous properties is not a right of passage for students coming to college or university.”