When looking at going to University, no one tells you that your loan barely covers your rent, if at all.
With rent and student accommodation prices soaring, passing your exams is not the only things that students need to be worrying about. Students are now facing higher rent than ever, after a recent survey showed prices in some University towns nearly doubling, especially in cities like here in Brighton.
A recent article on The Guardian focused on the fear that soaring rental prices are going to put people off coming to University and therefore studying for a degree. Tuition fee debates have taken a back seat whilst living costs reach levels higher than ever before. Student campaigners are now focusing on the fight for the right for cheaper rent and better living conditions.
Considering what a high percentage students represent in the private rented sector in many cities, perhaps landlords should be more worried about scaring off future residents rather than trying to squeeze even more money from them. The Guardian stated that ‘students are not eligible for welfare payments – such as housing benefit – on the basis that they are on full time courses, despite student maintenance loans falling well short of a full-time salary’ and that ‘the average student let amounts to 95% of the maintenance loan available – leaving just 5% for everything else’.
Within our 9 bedroom house here in Brighton, our loans fall short of the rent expected from us each year, leaving most of us within the house juggling part-time jobs on top of full-time education to make up the difference and pay the bills. Even when living within the University accommodation in first year our loans fell short, leaving many people relying on overdrafts to secure a roof over their heads if they could not find work.
Students are now taking a stand against this unjust treatment from private landlords and University officials. Campaigners at UCL are calling for a cut in rent prices while students and a host of groups in London are organising a march at the end of the month to call for affordable rent and better living conditions in the private sector. If you are interested in becoming involved in any of these campaigns, head over to sites like Rent Freedom Day to find out what you can do to get involved and stand up against these rising costs.
By Ciara Snowball