If you’re scared of slugs or manic about mice and mould, this may not be the best news for you.
Well, quite a lot of you are…
Look around at your friends at University – around a quarter of them will be living with slugs on the walls, mice under the floorboards or other vermin crawling through cracks.
Maybe not as disgusting, but just as worrying, over a half will have problems with condensation and almost a half will be experiencing problems with mould.
As if the grim health concerns weren’t bad enough, 1 in 3 students have been getting into debt in order to meet upfront costs to secure properties and the same number have struggled to pay energy bills.
In total, over three quarters of the student population have a problem with the condition of their rented student-homes, according to figures in a new NUS study.
‘But is it really that bad?’ Judging by some of the comments collected in the study, you bet your ass it is:
“My landlord has made my life a misery, its [sic] so much stress piled on top of our degrees, my housemates have been so ill due to the mould and mice, its [sic] not been nice living here”, said a female, UK, undergraduate student.
‘Well, that’s pretty horrible, but is it the landlords that are at fault?’ In some cases, it really is:
“She [the landlord] and her husband entered the property on numerous occasions without prior notice, once I was in bed and once when I was in the shower. She then verbally abused me when I asked her not to do this in the future,” said a female postgrad student from the UK.
Colum McGuire, the NUS Vice President (Welfare), commented:
“Although there’s a commonly held perception that poor quality student housing is a rite of passage, it is both disgusting and unacceptable that students should live in vermin infested housing in this day and age.
“Our research has raised alarming health and safety issues and we are calling for more effective enforcement of standards to ensure students’ homes are fit for study.”
Such issues regarding local housing fall under the remit of local government; so NUS is urging Government to ensure that local councils have the resources and capacity to deal with those affected.
What has been your worst experience in student housing?