Student Population Living in Buy to Let ‘Squalor’

Nearly two thirds of the UK student population are currently ‘living in squalor’ due to the neglect of rogue landlords, according to new research.

Advice website ‘Save the Student’ conducted a survey of over 2,000 of those in higher education, and discovered a plethora of unresolved issues. 47 per cent of students were found to live in properties which had issues with damp, whilst a staggering four in ten have been left without running water for a period of time. 

However, in spite of the fact that the average student pays £535 per month in rent, a figure dwarfed by those residing in London who pay £728, landlords often fail to combat the issues. In cases where the landlord in question deigned to rectify the issue, there was a problem with landlords letting themselves in unannounced, with 17 per cent of students citing this as an issue. 

A student from the East Midlands explained to the researchers: ‘We had no hot water in the middle of winter, also we had no shower for two weeks. Landlord was abysmal sorting it.’

A second student said: ‘The shower drains out to the back of the house, then into a drain there. At some point a frog got wedged in the drain and died. So whenever you had a shower, the smell of sewage and death stunk out the bathroom. This got resolved after three visits from the landlord and a month of waiting.’

It appears that the frog incident is far from unique in the university buy to let sector, with rodents and pests marked out as a major issue for students. 

Editor of Save the Student, Jake Butler, emphasised the need for more support for students over housing issues. He said: ‘Far too many landlords and even university accommodation providers will just shrug off major issues. And who can they turn to when that happens? People tend to think that living in substandard conditions is just part of being a student, but it’s time we realised it simply isn’t acceptable, especially when many students and their parents are shelling out plenty of money.’

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