Landlords are accused of ignoring complaints from thousands of students live in horrid homes infested by rats.
The shocking revelation comes from a report by the National Union of Students that asked more than 2,000 students about the condition of their rented homes.
A massive 42% are living in homes with damp and mould on the walls and ceilings, while one in five report rats, mice, slugs and other vermin infest their homes.
Despite laws demanding landlords make their homes safe, 16% have reported electrical hazards to their landlords, while 9% have concerns about gas safety.
A third claimed the state of their homes made them feel anxious or depressed, 17% say poor living conditions have made existing health problems worse and 12% reported the state of their homes had triggered new health issues.
Many says they have complained to landlords about the state of their homes with no response.
Eva Crossan Jory, NUS vice president for welfare, said: “Students are living in appalling circumstances in some of the worst housing stock in the country. They have been taken advantage of by bad landlords who rely on students not knowing their rights or what to expect when they rent their first home.”
Pros and cons of rent control
The debate about rent controls sparked by a speech from London Mayor Sadiq Khan has seen the arguments for and against explained in a briefing paper for MPS published in the House of Commons library.
Private rented housing: the rent control debate hints rent controls are not necessarily about more affordable living standards for tenants, but more to do with restricting the amount of money from public coffers going towards housing benefit.
Housing benefit is designed as a safety net for tenants who cannot afford open market rents, but as rents rise, the affordability gap widens and leads to more demand for housing benefit. Politicians then look at how to put a lid on benefit payments and look at rent control as an option.
Landlord charges £600 a year to keep a pet
Build to let landlord Tipi charges tenants up to £600 a year to keep dogs and cats.
Renters at the company’s Wembley Park development in London pay £600 extra for a dog, £360 for a cat and £600 for two cats.
The Tipi web site states the landlord is pet friendly ‘for a small monthly fee added to your rent’.