Credit: Lucy Dunn

Over 80% of students living in accommodation ‘unfit for human habitation’

By Iona Macwhirter-Harley

Research by Stint suggests the majority of landlords may be breaking the law.

New research by Stint, a student job company, has found that over 80% of British students have lived in accommodation deemed “unfit for human habitation”. The study, which surveyed 1,000 students, found that most are living in homes that fall short of the legal standard. Over 40% have lived in a property with mould or damp, 19% somewhere with broken smoke alarms, and almost half have lived in non-secure buildings with broken doors or window locks.

These conditions go against the Homes Act 2018 which requires landlords to provide housing that is “safe, healthy, and free from things that could cause serious harm”. According to the legislation this requires basic provisions such as repairs, “freedom from damp”, and stability.

The President of the National Union of Students (NUS) for Scotland has called on the Scottish Government to make an intervention into the standards of student housing and to tackle the current housing crisis: “For years students have had to put up with expensive, sub-standard housing dominated by intimidating landlords… we need a student housing strategy for Scotland that ensures all students have access to safe, affordable accommodation.”

A UK government spokesperson called students living in unsafe accommodation “unacceptable”, and claimed that government reforms will provide “greater redress for residents, better regulation, and better-quality homes”. 


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