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Student rents set to rise following increase in stamp duty

Student accommodation has always been expensive, but now rent will be higher than ever before, due to the chancellor’s decision to include an extra three per cent stamp duty on buy-to-let properties. This extra cost will be transferred from landlords, to tenants.

Shelly Asquith, NUS director of welfare, described how students are already being “forced to live in poor conditions and pay soaring rents.” She went on to add: “So if extra costs from buy-to-let policies are passed on to tenants the situation will only worsen.”

“The problem is particularly bad in London, where students are facing the highest rents.” Currently, students in London pay twice as much as students in Wales, and £30 per week more on average than students in other regions.

The National Union of Students said, “Student accommodation currently takes up 95 per cent of the maximum amount of finance available for a student, which leaves them with an impossibly small amount of money to live on.”

Many UEA students already feel the financial strain, and nationally, nearly two thirds of students work part time in order to fund their studies.

A survey conducted by insurance provider, Endsleigh, alongside the NUS found than the percentage of students who consider their student loan to be their main source of income has decreased from 73 per cent in 2012 to 60 per cent in 2013.

Director of AccommodationforStudents.com, Simon Thompson, told the Independent it is “difficult to predict” what will happen the market, but a real possibility is that the supply of the accommodation that students heavily rely on could potentially decrease in the wake of the new policy as “new entrants to the market may be deterred from investing.”

If supply decreases, it will mean more students are left with the financial burden of not being able to afford adequate accommodation.

However, the changes to stamp duty, which are due to come into place in 2017, are set to face a legal challenge. 250 landlords are set to work together to challenge the decision, claiming that they believe the increase in stamp duty is “unfair, undemocratic and underhanded [as well as] unlawful”.

Challcellor George Osborne has defended the stamp increase arguing that landlords are crowding out the market from buying multiple properties: “Frankly, people buying a home to let should not be squeezing out families who can’t afford a home to buy”.

12/01/2016

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