The government is currently driving through legislation aiming to help young first time buyers, such as Help to Buy and Starter Homes.

The Help to Buy ISA aims to help first time buyers boost their savings by 25% in order to use it for a deposit, with starter homes being available to first time buyers with a 20% market discount.

Many of the aspirational first time buyers will be graduates, coming out of university looking to find a good job and affordable housing.

However, it is estimated around 40% of university students are forced into borrowing money beyond the maintenance loan the government provides whilst at university. This leaves them in no position to utilise these government schemes.

Many students are forced into working nearly full time hours in part time jobs to cover the cost of rent and living.

The National Union of Students (NUS) research found that between 2014 and 2015, there was a 25% increase in rents, taking the average rent to £123.96 per week, equating to £5,244 a year.

This figure is 95% of the maximum available student maintenance loan for 2014/15 of £5,555.

The union now suggest the average weekly rent for 2015/16 now stands at £146.73. In London, that figure rises to £225.83.

Shelly Asquith, NUS vice president (welfare) told 24housing: “Putting a deposit down on a property is a distant dream for most students, as high rents and low supply means opportunities are few and far between.

“The new Housing and Planning Bill is set to deplete the social rented sector as well, limiting options for those on low incomes.

“At NUS we are calling for rent controls and a genuine affordable house building programme, to tackle the crisis now and invest in future generations.”

But the issues stretch further than just the costs of renting whilst at university. Many say it is the cripplingly high tuition fees and the banks reluctance to lend larger amounts of money to first time buyers.

Shortage of supply in housing is one of the reoccurring issues in all issues and it once again features in this case.

Nick Laing, Carlain Property, said rents are not the number one issue that need sorting: “The primary issue is tuition fees.

“In many towns such as Cheltenham, rents are reasonable and include all bills, TV licence, internet and maintenance. We are proud we have a record of happy tenants, usually not having enough houses for all that come to us.

“The more relevant factor is the lack of availability in new affordable housing and the lack of availability of finance for first time buyers. It is wrong of the government to link the lack of affordable housing with the private rented sector.”

Source – 24dash