Over two thirds of student renters are worried about their ability to pay rent with around a quarter having been unable to pay rent or bills during the pandemic.
The figures - from a new survey by the National Union of Students - has found that almost half of students live in rented accommodation of some sort, with around a third believing they would not be allowed to leave their tenancy agreement early due to the pandemic.
“These problems are likely to be exacerbated with the most recent lockdown announcement that has left the majority of student renters still liable to pay for accommodation that they are not allowed to access” says the NUS.
Its study of over 4,000 students shows that 57 per cent of those who have been self-isolating have not received any support from their accommodation provider - whether that’s a private landlord or college authorities - while the NUS itself says it would expect more frequent check-ins, financial support and food deliveries to support them.
The proportion of students living with parents or guardians has gone up since September, now representing 30 per cent of students compared to 21 per cent.
Prior to the pandemic a quarter of students were living with parents indicating some students have had to reconsider their living arrangements as a result of the pandemic.
Hillary Gyebi-Ababio, NUS vice-president for higher education, says: “It is astonishing that the UK government has placed students under lockdown yet are still requiring them to pay rent for accommodation that they cannot legally access. It goes to show the level of disregard that this government has for students.
“We need rent rebates immediately to ensure that students are not out of pocket for rental payments of properties they are not living in. Over two-thirds of students are already concerned about their ability to make rental payments, and this will have only increased with the most recent lockdown announcement.
“Students deserve better than to be financially punished for following public health guidance.”