85% of UK students consider alternative accommodation while living in HMO house shares

85% of UK students consider alternative accommodation while living in HMO house shares

Poor living standards, rows over bills, and unresponsive landlords are the biggest HMO housing issues according to data collected by Here! Student Living.

  1. 7 in 10 students live in a privately rented HMO house share while studying in the UK
  1. 99% experience at least one major issue with their accommodation or landlord while house-sharing
  1. Common HMO gripes range from damp and mould to infestations, drainage problems, and a lack of security
  1. Conflict is common – over 40% of students row over splitting bills
  1. Less than one-quarter of UK students believe they are always treated fairly by their landlord

The first few months of the year are prime time for students to consider their living arrangements for the next academic year. Whether you’re moving out of university halls, starting your studies, or deciding what to do at the end of your current tenancy, it’s a busy time for flat-hunting. But secure and quality housing is not as easy to find as it should be.

Recent research by student accommodation provider Here! Student Living reveals that HMO house sharing – the most popular student housing choice – is plagued with problems. 

The survey of current students and recent graduates across the UK* found that nearly three-quarters live or have lived in a HMO house share, making it by far the most common living arrangement while studying. This figure varies across regions – peaking in the East of England, where 95% of students share a house. 

Yet despite this popularity, 99% of student HMO dwellers report at least one major issue with the living situation.

Here! Student Living wants to give the next generation of students the best chance of accessing the quality housing they deserve. That means providing them with a realistic picture of renting from private landlords.

These were the most shocking findings from the survey.

Poor living standards

When it comes to the conditions and facilities students in UK HMOs have to deal with:

  1. 42% report damp and mould issues
  1. 35% feel a lack of security
  1. 23% have to deal with electrical faults
  1. 20% suffer drainage issues
  1. 13% have pest infestations

Data unearthed some interesting regional variations – Hull is the UK’s mould capital, with 67% of students reporting it. On the other hand, Glasgow’s students experience the most vermin activity, with one-third revealing that their shared house suffered infestations from uninvited guests.

Bill-splitting brawls

If poor standards of living weren’t enough of an issue, relationships with housemates were also strained. Splitting bills is a source of friction for 43% of UK students.

Landlord let-downs

To top all of this off, respondents also reported difficulties in getting their HMO landlords to address the problems they faced:

  1. More than one-quarter say their landlords ignore their calls
  2. 18% have trouble claiming back deposits they are owed at the end of their tenancy

In the survey of students across the UK, Nottingham’s landlords were found to be the most unreliable – three-quarters of Nottingham-based students said their landlord had ignored their calls. Hull follows suit – half of students in the city have had their deposit withheld by landlords.

Considering the poor conditions and lack of responsibility from HMO landlords, it perhaps comes as no surprise that, overall, only 21% of UK students feel that they’ve been completely fairly treated by landlords.

A fair deal for students

Students are obviously not content with the conditions they face in HMO properties – 90% consider, or have considered, alternative accommodation arrangements. 

Of these alternatives, managed student accommodation is the most attractive, with 56% of UK respondents considering it over living at home or lodging. Perhaps students see managed accommodation as an antidote to the poor living conditions, communication issues, and unpredictability associated with HMO house sharing.

The survey is part of Here! Student Living’s ongoing mission to make safe, comfortable, and high-quality student housing the norm. 

Its Fighting for a Fair Deal for Students campaign is uncovering the scale of the problems in the private rental market, giving advice about alternatives, and providing resources to help you make informed decisions about renting.

Discover the state of student rentals in your university city, read tips on how to navigate viewings, and manage your budget without sacrificing your standard of living. 

Dodge house-share hiccups and get the most out of your university experience with help from Here!

If you share your student rental horror story, you could be in with a chance of winning a voucher worth £400. Simply spill your story to Here! on social media to enter. Take part on:

TikTok: @herestudents

Facebook: @herestudents

Instagram: @here_students

Phil Price, Head of Marketing at Here! Student Living, said: “We’ve seen first hand the struggles that students across the UK face when it comes to securing quality accommodation during their studies. The creation of a useful rental advice hub is just one step we’ve taken in our ever-evolving journey to offer a unique and memorable student experience.” 

MEB Media Publishing (UK) Ltd

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Maidstone, Kent
ME14 1UR
United Kingdom

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