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Councillors are blaming student landlords for a shortage of affordable homes for families that is ‘distorting’ the housing market.
Now, councillors in Chichester, Sussex, are considering planning controls to stop landlords opening new houses in multiple occupation shared by students.
An internal council report claims student landlords cater for around 40% of the local university’s first-year students, when most universities offer beds to all their first year intake.
“The houses student landlords purchase tend to be at the lower end of the market in terms of price, and this restricts the supply of affordable homes for young families to purchase,” said the report.
“It also reduces the number of affordable homes for households to rent and has a tendency to increase the average market rent in the area.”
The council is to vote on implementing an article 4 direction in 12 months that will require HMO landlords to apply for planning permission before letting.
Meanwhile, students at St Andrew’s, Scotland, are finding a lack of accommodation and high rents are stretching their budgets.
The university – where young royals the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge met as students – needs beds for an extra 535 students who have applied to live in halls as applications for the next academic year are up 17%.
Student landlords are already charging high rents because of demand.
Students are lobbying the university through a Facebook protest page as part of demands for more help with accommodation.
”The university provides accommodation for at least half of all our full-time students.
Proportionately, no other UK university provides more directly managed accommodation. We also try to guarantee a place in halls to all our new entrant students,” said a spokesman.
”Last year we accommodated 1,950 entrant students and this year we have calculated we must plan to accommodate 2,090 entrants.”
Students in Aberdeen are camped out in tents in another protest about high rents.
They are worried about a planned 8% rent rise in student halls and claim the cost of accommodation is more than most students on loans can afford to pay.
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