Student tenants pushed into financial hardship as loans barely cover rents

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.”

https://www.savethestudent.org/accommodation/national-student-accommodation-survey-2018.html

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3 Comments

  1. JMK

    The cost of student halls is astronomical.  If you increase the loan amount the Universities will simply up the cost even higher.  As, in most cases, students have to spend their first year in halls then they have little choice.  Fair do’s though.  The Uni Vice-Chancellors have to grab their salaries from somewhere (average in 2017 circa £280k inc pension contributions)!

    Corbyn says he wants rent controls if (God forbid) he gets elected.  He should start with Uni’s.

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  2. CountryLass

    It is unfair, but its a captive market unfortunately. Students need to live as close as possible, so they are at the mercy of the greedy.

    Like how a sandwich costs £3 in Tesco but £5 at a theme park… Doesn’t make it right, but it is how businesses make money.

    Surely living in halls should be cheaper as it’s owned by the uni and there are no mortgage payments etc? Subsidise the rent for the first year, til students have got themselves sorted enough to get a part time job to improve their income and then offer ‘market rate’ rental or they can find a house share with friends?

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    1. GrumpyDoug53

      I’m afraid the halls aren’t owned by the Uni as a rule. All the new blocks that have sprung up over the last few years are owned and run by Corporate landlords. Fat salaries and shareholder profits dictate the obscene rents that the kids have to pay.

      I have a few student houses – when my students move from first to second year accommodation (into my houses), they save about £200 a month.

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