Student housing is rife with problems such as mould, condensation and vermin infestations, a new report from the National Union of Students (NUS) has found.
More than three quarters of students have experienced at least one problem with the condition of their rented home, the report revealed.
And half said they had felt uncomfortably cold due to draughty or poorly insulated homes.
If your student property is damp or in disrepair read our guide to how to claim against your landlord.
Problems with landlords
Just over half of the students questioned in the Homes Fit for Study survey reported delays in getting repairs carried out to their homes while 34% had problems getting in touch with their landlord or letting agent.
Almost three quarters of those who had experienced a problem reported it to their landlord or agent but almost of third of these said it was not at all useful.
The NUS said the research raised alarming health and safety issues and said current conditions are unacceptable in the 21st century.
NUS vice president for welfare Colum McGuire said: ‘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.
‘We are calling for more effective enforcement of standards to ensure students’ homes are fit for study.’
Read the Which? University website for advice on how to pick the right student accommodation for you.
When it comes to getting deposits back at the end of a tenancy, 43% of the 6,696 students surveyed had some or all of their deposit withheld.
More than half of these challenged this decision but only 16% were able to change the amount of deposit they received from their landlord.
And just 4% of students reported using a dispute resolution service, indicating that many may be unaware of this option.
If your landlord keeps all or some of your deposit, you can use our guide to claim your deposit back.
The report also found that many students don’t know who to turn to if they have a problem with their housing and less than half know their rights as a tenant.
Students may also be unaware of their rights when living in shared accommodation. Read our guide to what you can do if your housemate stops paying their rent.