A recent survey has found that many students in the UK have to endure shocking housing conditions that could affect their health and safety.
One study has concluded that student accommodation is largely unsafe and overpriced in the UK, with 90% of students have experienced a problem with their dwelling.
According to The Guardian, more than a third of students also think they’ve been treated unfairly by a landlord.
It’s not just private rented accommodation that students are having problems with, but issues are also commonly cropping up in halls of residence and other university-owned properties.
There are a wide variety of issues that students have grievances with, and while the top concern is noisy housemates, the majority of problems focus on maintenance areas.
Many students complain that they’re not living in safe accommodation, without even having basic services. Some students report having broken or damaged facilities, lack of heating and water, dangerous or unsafe conditions in the house and limited security that could leave them prone to getting burgled. Increasingly, many students complain about having to live in accommodation infested with bugs, rodents, and pests.
Duty of care
Landlords have a duty of care to their tenants, and as well as ensuring property is safe and maintained, it should come with the appropriate facilities. Property inventory software, such as Inventory Base can certainly help with this.
However, the reality is currently somewhat different. Many students aren’t getting the appropriate assistance they need from their landlords. One survey found that 20% of students had to wait over a month to get issues with their property resolved, while 4% of students claimed their problems never got fixed.
With the cost of accommodation taking an enormous bite out of a student budget, it’s no wonder that many students are struggling to cope in dire conditions. Half of all students face problems paying the rent, so it’s not hard to see how many students end up suffering from mental health problems as a result of this.
The good news is that the Homes (Fitness for Human Habitation) Act 2018 recently came into force, which means landlords have a legal obligation to maintain their properties. Failure to comply with the new rules means that students have the right to take legal action against landlords who shirk their responsibilities.