A quantitative research study to investigate students’ experiences while renting accommodation in the private sector

  • Iain Hankins
Keywords: housing, renting, student accommodation, health impacts, landlords, house inspections


This report presents the findings of a quantitative research study to investigate students’ experiences while renting in the private sector. The study sought to address four key research objectives:  1) To explore the nature and prevalence of private rented accommodation for students, 2)  To gauge the overall satisfaction students have with the quality of their rented accommodation, 3) To identify any issues students have while living in rented accommodation, and 4) To investigate the impacts of poor housing on students.  This dissertation seeks to critically analyse the reasons why students may be particularly vulnerable to living in poor accommodation and suggests further action to improve the student housing experience. The introduction in this paper briefly discusses what homes mean to people, the importance of housing in terms of physical and mental health and the typical problems people face when renting accommodation. This leads to the literature review which provides an in depth look at the prevalence of housing in the private sector and the typical conditions and issues that are found in housing, using past research. It also looks at how poor housing can affect health and why this is a particular issue for students, identifying factors specific to students which may make them more vulnerable to living in poor quality accommodation. Chapter 3 describes the methodology used to carry out the study, namely questionnaires, and Chapter 4 then presents the results of the study. Chapter 5 discusses the results in the context of the research objectives and the literature review. My main findings from this research project were that there is a problem with housing conditions and lack of engagement from landlords. I also found that students as a group may be uninformed about the services available to them and they are not necessarily worried about their housing affecting their health. To conclude, this study did find that students face defects and are vulnerable to poor housing conditions; it also found that landlords are not performing regular enough checks on their properties. More research may be needed in order understand how big of a problem this is, using interviews or focus groups will give a more direct and clear understanding of the situation.