Many student tenants are struggling to get by, with their monthly loans barely covering rents.
The average student loan payment comes in at £602 a month, but with the average student rent standing at £565.89 a month, this leaves almost nothing for food, transport, toiletries, books and, in some cases, bills.
Findings from this year’s National Student Accommodation Survey show students are paying on average £301 in deposits for a property and £208 in letting agent fees, and that one in five students have struggled to get their deposits back.
The poll of more than 2,000 students highlighted other issues, with 16% complaining agent fees weren’t made clear and another 14% concerned about inappropriate landlord visits.
The research also found that student finance is failing to keep up with the costs of renting and housing.
The analysis is by money advice website Save the Student, which warns that rising rents risks pushing people into financial hardship and too much reliance on their overdraft.
Jake Butler, student money expert from Save the Student, said: “The fact that the maintenance loan barely covers students’ rent is shocking. Students are forced to get a job at the expense of their studies or rely on their parents who may struggle to support them.
“It’s quite clear that the sheer cost of just having a roof over their heads is putting a huge strain on students across the country, exacerbating mental health issues and the temptation to drop out of university.
“Forget about tuition fees and high interest rates – now that the Government are finally reviewing the student finance system, a fairer maintenance loan should be at the top of their agenda.”