Figures released today demonstrate the ongoing poor quality of rented accommodation, including among houses in multiple occupation (HMO). A total of 14,749 HMOs have been reported by local authorities across Wales. 8,413 are licensed properties.
During 2015-16 local authorities carried out 6,276 assessments to assess the condition of houses in multiple occupation, a decrease of 7% on the previous year. 32% of all assessments made during 2015-16 contained at least one Category 1 hazard, with the most common being excess cold.
A 2014 NUS report Homes Fit for Study found that the average rent for students was between £200 and £400 per month, with just over half reporting that their accommodation represented good value for money. More than a third reported struggling with energy bills.
Commenting, Tom Crofts, Chair of IR Cymru said;
“These figures show the reality of the living conditions students face, all at a premium price. There is absolutely no excuse for such appalling standards.
“It is disappointing students are still told to grit their teeth and bare excess cold, damp and mould, and even vermin.
“An increasing number of students are turning to overdrafts and pay-day lenders to meet basic living costs like rent, bills, and food. The Welsh Lib Dem’s reform of student funding will go a long way to tackling this, but more must be done to directly address poor housing standards.
“We are calling for clearer, more accessible information to be made available to tenants on their rights, for greater investment in training landlords through Rent Smart Wales, and for local councils to invest in enforcement to root out poor standards and negligent landlords.”