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November 2018
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RLA WARNS OF STUDENT GHETTOS

Deplorable and draconian – says RLA describing the potential for new government measures defining how and where people will live.

The announcement by the CLG (January 27 – www.communities.gov.uk/news/housing/1447621) of new Use Classes Order, which defines how a property can be legally used, and the introduction of a definition of what constitutes a HMO – House in Multiple Occupation – has been the result of a public campaign often referred to as -Studentification.

-HMO legislation, already introduced by this government in 2006, has been badly implemented with poor landlords escaping many of the measures. Only the compliant majority have been affected, with little improvement to property standards or benefits to tenants says Alan Ward RLA chairman.

The government statement refers to -problems due to large student populations and HMOs, meaning shops, businesses and pubs simply close down creating ‘ghost neighbourhoods’.

Comments Alan Ward – -This will be nothing to the economic decline of bars, restaurants and local shops if students and young professionals are deprived of the choice of locality in which they can live. Packing them into expensive halls of residence neither gives them the experience of independent living, nor integration with thriving communities. It will create student ghettos.

” This is the dangerous use of planning legislation for social engineering to stop students living close to their university, and other social groups such as immigrants.

-The government has jumped its own gun by announcing measures before the results of its own enquiry into HMO licensing- commission from BRE and due last summer.

A further government measure – same CLG announcement – to create a National Landlords Register, has been estimated to cost £300m – and the RLA has called for a cost-benefit analysis to be provided.

Says Alan Ward – -The Register is a last gasp gesture which I doubt we shall see implemented by this government.

The RLA supports the raising of standards for landlords and good management of rented property. We have recently announced an accreditation scheme which will achieve just that.

We call on the CLG to ensure that local authorities use existing measures – which amount to more than 60 – to stamp out the worst landlords.

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