Tough new plans for Leicester’s PRS risk ghettoising neighbourhoods and pricing poorer students out of the market, says a leading student lets firm.

Leicester Council recently announced proposals for an Article 4 direction to cover more parts of the city to prevent more HMOs being created and is also consulting on licensing scheme options – and both look likely to take effect next year.

CEO of local student landlord and letting agency Sulets, Irving Hill (main pic, inset), believes that if they get the go-ahead the city will end up like Nottingham where it’s hugely difficult to find student lets.

“Students like living in traditional HMO accommodation and a recent Unipol study showed that purpose-built accommodation is 40% more expensive,” he tells LandlordZONE.

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“If the council stops more houses being converted into HMOs by using the Article 4 directive it will have a direct impact on students, restricting choice and driving up the price so that poorer ones are priced out and won’t have anywhere to live.”

Fees hike

The council is considering charging £1,000 for a five-year licence for smaller HMO landlords in certain areas of Leicester – much higher than the average fee of £708, according to Kamma data.

Hill says that being forced to pay the licence fee will force even more landlords out and shrink the pool of available properties, particularly the smaller ones.

Says Hill: “Restricting new entrants is also a bad idea as it’s already really difficult to get approval to convert properties into HMOs.”

He adds: “Councils know they need students but they don’t want them in residential areas because some people complain about them, so they’d prefer them to go into purpose-built accommodation – that’s why these blocks are going up so quickly. However, this just ghettoises areas.”

4 COMMENTS

  1. These councils love “Licensing Schemes”. It makes them feel all virtuous whilst at the same time making them a load of money. Meantime, while they check up on private landlords, many council tenants are living in squalid poorly maintain council flats.

  2. Nobody cares about snowflake students.
    Let them reside in Ghetto PBSA.

    Student HMO contribute nothing for Council Tax.

    Far better to replace snowflake students with professional singles.

    • Paul Barrett..

      I work hard at being a LL and treat people with respect. I read your posts week in, week out and as per usual, the tone helps to reinforce why people have a poor opinion of landlords.

      Thanks once again for contributing to it.

      • My tone is ENTIRELY appropriate

        Good LL provide good services and expect to be PAID for them.
        Pray tell how such an advocated concept results in the public not liking such an attitude!!!??

        Any LL who didn’t have such an attitude I would suggest is an idiot and DOESN’T deserve to be in business.

        Provision of an excellent service for a MARKET rent is what most good LL ars about.

        Such good LL want the bad ones put out of business

        An entirely appropriate attitude of good LL.

        I cannot see why any member of the public would suggest that this is a bad LL attitude.

        Perhaps you need to consider what being a good LL is!

        My attitude is the correct one

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