Results from the National Student Accommodation Survey 2021


The UK-wide survey by of over 1,300 university students reveals the  issues with accommodation and rent in 2020/21 – an academic year dominated by COVID-19. 

The headlines of the survey are as follows:

  • £1,621 is the average amount spent on empty rooms by students who haven’t had full access to their accommodation this academic year
  • Based on our calculations*, we estimate that nearly £1 billion (£933,270,890) is the total amount spent by students on unused accommodation in the UK so far in 2020/21
  • 46% of students would have chosen different accommodation had they known what to expect from the pandemic
  • £146 is the average weekly amount of rent
  • Only 6% of students with private landlords got a refund
  • One in three students plan to ask for a break clause next year
  • Around half of students aren’t happy with how their accommodation provider has handled the pandemic this year.

Jake Butler, Save the Student’s money expert, states that ‘1 billion is a huge price for students to pay and the total will keep going up, making it clear once again that students are among the worst affected by the coronavirus pandemic.  You can see from our stats that students feel let down and helpless when it comes to looking for support with their accommodation costs. A lot of accommodation providers, particularly universities, have reacted well but many students, mostly those renting from private landlords, have been left without a leg to stand on.
Time and time again the government has promised to look at the poor situation students are in but we’re yet to see any effective action. I would urge the government to work with landlords and universities to offer students financial support to cover any rent payments for accommodation that cannot be accessed.’

The full report is available here. 


Wessex Scene News and Investigations Editor and English (BA) student.

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