New shared house rules will just move students on to swamp another neighbourhood, claim campaigners against a council’s new house in multiple occupation (HMO) rules.
Birmingham City Council wants a cap on student homes with an article 4 direction demanding new shared homes have to gain planning permission before landlords can let them out.
The rules will apply to all homes shared by three or more unrelated tenants.
The University of Birmingham Guild of Students claims the move will not solve any problems like parking, antisocial behaviour and rubbish dumped in the streets.
Instead, they believe the cap will just shift the problem to nearby suburbs where the direction will not apply.
The proposed planning rules apply to the neighbourhoods of Harborne, Selly Oak and Selly Park, which are all popular haunts for students.
And they pinpointed neighbouring Bournbrook as the next place for student landlords to buy up homes to let.
The students have the support of landlords and other residents – as a 1,300-strong petition protest proves.
The guild’s Dave Charles said: “The council is disregarding the needs of students and removing the choice of where they can live by leaving Bournbrook out of the proposed article 4 direction.
“If the proposal is voted in, we are concerned Bournbrook will become a student ghetto.
“The lack of choice about where to live will make Bournbrook an overspill area for students as the area is the only other suitable option within walking distance of campus.
“We do not believe the direction will improve housing standards but just shift the problem around the city because it must result in more shared houses in the area.”
The council disagrees and explained complaints are regularly received about the current student homes from residents and organisations in the area.
“A number of concerns have been raised about the how many former family homes are now occupied by groups of single people,” said a council spokesman.
“With too many clustered in one neighbourhood, they can put pressure on local services and the environment, which affects the lives of permanent residents.”