Students struggling to pay the rent

Some two in five undergraduate students have thought about leaving university due to the cost of rent, a poll by student money website Save the Student has found.

Meanwhile 7% are experiencing homelessness, while two thirds (64%) have found it difficult to catch up with the cost of their rent.

Propertymark, the estate agency trade group, has called on the government to ease these issues by easing the regulatory burden on HMOs, as well as increasing the value of student maintenance loans.

Sophie Lang, student let expert and ARLA Propertymark regional executive for Cornwall, said: “Students are facing rent increases for the next academic year, and this is due to a lack of available housing and increasing mortgage rates for landlords.

“University attendance is increasing, yet available housing is not in line with that growth. Due to demand, rent in the private sector is increasing, and due to mortgage rate rises and the impact of tax relief changes, the number of Housing in Multiple Occupation landlords selling up in the last 18 months has also increased.

“If you couple this with the increasing legislation for landlords owning Houses in Multiple Occupation, which is far more stringent than that of residential rentals, we will see landlords continue to exit the market.

“Universities heavily rely on the private rental sector for second and third-year students, therefore it is important that the UK government understands the crucial part landlords play in meeting housing demand, rather than continuing to penalise them.

“The UK government should also increase student maintenance loans as general household bills and the cost have living have increased meaning these loans are no longer in line with this inflation.”