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Crackdown on student digs is bad for our city
A LANDLORD has delivered a withering attack on Worcester’s student homes crackdown – saying it is unfair on young people and will damage the city’s reputation.
The critic, who has asked to remain anonymous, owns 10 properties in the city and is a member of the National Landlords Association.
He told your Worcester News:
It will damage Worcester’s economy and keep house prices down.
It is “an attack on students” and sends out the wrong message to prospective university students.
It could slow down future housing development and encourage rogue landlords.
From next year the city council is to clamp down on the number of houses in multiple occupation (HMOs).
It means landlords who want to turn a house into student accommodation or rent it to three or more tenants will have to apply for a ‘change of use’ first.
The change, approved by the city council’s ruling cabinet earlier this week, already had the backing of the planning committee, which insists it needs to protect the character of neighbourhoods at risk of being damaged by rows of student properties.
The landlord said: “There is a widely unchallenged perception about students, when in fact they are far less likely to get involved in crime than you or me.
“The planners want control over the city and my view is that it will be massively detrimental on Worcester as a whole.
“The number of students in Worcester is only going to increase – this is a timebomb. In my view, it will mean good landlords giving up and it will go underground.”
The city council says the move is “not an attack on students or the university”, but that it wants to avoid unwanted HMOs springing up.
Paul O’Connor, head of planning, said: “The council has high regard for the university and its students. It is a success story in recent years and we work hard with the university to promote its development. We also recognise that today’s student is tomorrow’s entrepreneur or public servant – they are important members of our community and add vibrancy to our city.”