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Landlords And Tenants Attack Government Crackdown On ‘student Ghettos’

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Government plans to restrict multiple occupation of homes to clamp down on the “studentification†of local communities were attacked last night by landlords and tenants.

The proposals would give local authorities the power to restrict the number of properties that house six or more tenants through new planning laws. This move — outlined in a consultation document — comes in response to increased concern from residents that streets in university towns are becoming “student ghettos†that are marginalising the rest of the community.

The British Property Federation described the plan as a knee-jerk reaction and warned that the new rules would lead to higher rents and would affect immigrants, young professionals and benefit claimants as well as students. The proposed laws could result in more “sink estates†and less social integration, the federation said, adding that local businesses that depended on students could face closure.

Liz Peace, chief executive of the federation, said: “You can’t use the planning system for social engineering. Only a tiny fraction of places suffer from a high concentration of HMOs and using a broad brush approach to deal with the issue makes no sense.â€

Richard Tyler, head of the National HMO lobby, said: “There are no controls on HMOs at the moment and because of this there are whole streets of them, which destabilises communities and results in increased noise, litter and anti-social behaviour from public drunkenness, such as vomiting and urinating in other people’s gardens and minor vandalism.â€

Headingley in Leeds is one of the worst-affected areas, the lobby said, but the problem is also present in other university towns. In Chestnut Avenue, South Headingley, there were 54 houses, 51 of which were let to groups of students at the time of the last census. Such imbalances created a “resort economyâ€, with affected areas becoming ghost towns in holiday time, Dr Tyler said.

Clearly cramming 6 people in a house is going to help engineer social cohesion.

If you can't cram 6 in do you think that might affect profit? Looks like some sums might not add up if this happens.

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