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Letting agency slams 'student accommodation for the rich'

An online letting agency has sharply criticised student accommodation branded as affordable yet costing, it claims, nearly twice the maximum maintenance loan allowance.

StudentTenant.com says how much a student receives from student finance depends on household income – the lower the household income, the more loan they are entitled to. Students from household incomes below £25,000 are eligible to receive the maximum maintenance loan of £11,002 per year to live away from home in London.

However, the agency says its own research shows that of 1,008 student properties now advertised in London, every one exceeded the maximum maintenance loan allowance. 

The cheapest student property is available for £11,232 per year, £230 greater than the maximum allowance, whilst the most expensive costs £2,024 per week; nearly 10 times greater.

Danielle Cullen, managing director at the agency, describes these figures as “quite shocking” and indicating that studying in the capital “is becoming less accessible for students without additional help with their finances.”

Further research into new student property developments in London found that 80 per cent of all student rooms exceeded the maximum student loan allowance. The third cheapest student flat in London EC1 costs £728 more than the allowance. 

For £230 per week, students would receive what the agency describes as “a measly 20 square foot room with just a microwave, single hob and tiny refrigerator.”

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