Almost two-thirds of students are currently living in “squalor” due to their landlord’s neglect, new research has revealed.
A survey of more than 2,000 UK students found that 47% live in houses with damp, while more than four in ten have been left without any heating or running water.
But a quarter of issues in student houses are never dealt with by landlords, advice website Save the Student discovered.
This is despite the fact that the average student now pays £535 a month in rent, with those studying in London shelling out around £728.
“We had no hot water in the middle of winter,” one student from the East Midlands said.
“Also we had no shower for two weeks. Landlord was abysmal sorting it.”
Another student told researchers: “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.”
One of the undergraduates surveyed told researchers they had to be hospitalised because the black mould in their flat was so bad.
Rodents and pests were also highlighted to be a major issue for a quarter of students, while 17% reported that their landlord lets themselves into the house unannounced.
Jake Butler, editor of Save the Student, called for more support for students over housing issues.
“Far too many landlords and even university accomodation providers will just shrug off major issues. And who can they turn to when that happens?”
Butler added: “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.”