Homes fit for study: student experiences of energy in the private rented sector

Students’ experiences of the private rented sector are commonly associated with poorly heated, low quality, dense, urban accommodation.  This is accompanied by a widespread cultural expectation that it is acceptable for students to live in housing with these characteristics.  At the same time, there has been little research conducted with the student population within the field of fuel poverty research. This recently published research explored the experiences of students living in the private rented sector in terms of their use and management of energy and the extent to which these lead to living in cold homes.  Of those students surveyed:

  • 49% reported feeling uncomfortably cold in their rented home;
  • 42% struggled to pay their energy bills;
  • 38% had damp or mould in their property.

The research revealed a range of factors that contributed to these experiences, along with an array of impacts and coping strategies.

You can access the full research report and research summary here and read an NUS blog on the research here.