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Landlords To Oppose Student Home Plan

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Landlords to oppose student home plan

Under plans suggested by a new consultation document from the Department of Communities and Local Government (CLG), permission would have to be sought if a landlord wants to convert a home into a residence for three or more unrelated occupiers.

At present, the regulation of houses of multiple occupation (HMO) is relatively loose and only considers cases where there are at least six residents.

The Government has launched the consultation because of concerns that the "studentification" of towns – high densities of student homes in residential areas – is causing anti-social behaviour, distorted property prices and "ghost towns" during university vacations.

However, the British Property Federation (BPF) has called the proposals a "nimby's charter" and warned that the restriction of the supply of HMOs will drive up rents.

This will also affect young professionals, immigrants and others who rent HMOs, as well as local businesses whose trade would be damaged if students are driven out of areas. The BPF also warns that derelict buildings, which could be turned into HMOs, face remaining empty, and that the change in the laws would affect a much larger number of residential properties then present regulations.

Wes Streeting, the president of the National Union of Students, said: "These proposals would marginalise students by forcing them to pay private companies to live in large ghettos away from the rest of the community."

The CLG estimates there are 300,000 licensable HMOs in England and Wales with around 35,000 believed to be unlicensed.

The BPF is calling for the issue to be tackled by a local management option, rather than through planning laws.

Liz Peace, the chief executive of the BPF, said: "You can't use the planning system for social engineering or to tackle anti-social behaviour. Only a tiny fraction of places suffer from a high concentrations of HMOs and using a broad brush approach to deal with different issues relating to anti-social behaviour makes no sense."

People have been abusing students for a long, long time in Britain. As somebody put it earlier, this is just a state sponsored wealth transfer. Slumming down a neighbourhood to stuff it full of students and/or social welfare recipients is just plain ugly. Of course, it won't get any better from here on, as the universities across the UK are being forced to shut their doors to home students. Education will once again (already has) become a luxury to the liquid asset rich minority.

But, do we really need to have a new bureaucracy/quango full of made up positions regulating this? Just enforce the current legislation and take away the tax advantages to the student property letters, and letting in general.

As for the abuse of students? Well, it's a British virtue and right to punish people for being weak, young, and poor. How do you think we got here?

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