We don’t live like the Young Ones anymore, says student union
“UNFAIR and unkind” plans to charge student landlords for refuse collection will simply hit their tenants in the pocket.
This is the fear of Warwick University Students’ Union, after councillors voted to investigate treating owners of student housing as businesses.
Faced with concerns over ‘studentification’ of south Leamington and claims that student housing had become a lucrative business, Warwick District Council’s executive committee last week voted to investigate charging landlords business rates and for refuse collection.
But Ben Sundell, welfare and campaigns officer at the student union, questioned why students had been singled out.
He said: “This is rather unfair and unkind – landlords would just put the rent up and students would end up paying more.
“Given the average age for a first-time home buyer is now in the late thirties, many young working people now live in shared houses and pay rent to a private landlord.
“Would the council consider charging these landlords in the same way? Of course not – there would be an outcry.”
Refuse is a sore point among Old Town residents, with piles of rubbish left outside some houses at the end of the academic year, but Mr Sundell said the union worked hard to remind students to live responsibly, leave less rubbish, recycle and donate unwanted items to charity shops.
He added that students are leaving grimy shared houses in favour of purpose-built halls of residence, such as those opposite Leamington station. Even these provoke opposition, with residents campaigning against builder AC Lloyd’s plans to build flats on its Chapel Street site, fearing noise and crime.
Mr Sundell said today’s students were tomorrow’s residents. He added: “Students contribute a lot to the local area and as active citizens they want to continue to give a lot back to the place they have made their first real home away from home. They are not visitors or guests but real residents who often stay on after their studies have finished.”
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Wednesday 19 June 2013
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