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Scottish student renters face a financial crisis due to the pandemic, NUS survey finds

By Lauren Brooks

The survey finds that one in four students have been unable to pay their rent in full over the past four months.

Scottish student renters face a financial crisis with over 71% concerned of their ability to afford rent as a result of the pandemic, according to a new survey. 

A survey conducted by the National Union of Students (NUS) Scotland has found that for the past four months 25% of students have been unable to pay their full rent and 33% have been unable to pay their bills in full. The survey also found that one in seven students fear they won’t be allowed to leave their tenancy agreement early as a result of the pandemic.

Matt Crilly, NUS Scotland president, stated: “These survey results highlight the crucial need for intervention from the Scottish Government. As things stand, students are being expected to pay rent for accommodation they can’t use.”

NUS Scotland believes such problems are likely to be intensified as a result of the current lockdown as most students are still legally required to pay rent for their term-time accommodation even though they have been told by the Scottish government not to return till mid-February.

On this issue, Crilley commented: “We continue to call on the Scottish government to ensure urgent financial support is available so that no student is left out of pocket while following public health guidance.”

It has also been recorded that the number of students living with parents has increased from 13% in July to 32% as a result of the pandemic, highlighting the financial issues student renters are facing.

Crilly concluded: “Students have a legal right to leave their accommodation, which all landlords have a duty to uphold.

“If students don’t need to return this semester they should be told now. Students deserve better than yet another term of uncertainty.”Full results of the survey can be found on the NUS Scotland website.


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