Friday, November 17, 2006

Say NO to HMO Quotas!

That is the name of this( http://oxford.facebook.com/group.php?gid=2217874507&ref=mf ) facebook group. And below, you will find some information regarding this idea (copied and pasted from the link page).

Students tend to live with their friends in order to save money. Now 2 MSPs want to restrict how many people can do this in 1 area - raising the cost of living as a student. This abhorrent amendment to the planning bill will be debated this week. Don't let them socially engineer students out of affordable housing. Join the campaign. Say NO to HMO quotas.

Background:

A large proportion of Edinburgh University students live in privately rented flats with a Houses in Multiple Occupation (HMO) license. The HMO license is a statutory requirement for all rented properties housing three or more tenants and was originally developed to ensure minimum safety standards.

For a number of years, private housing associations and local residents in areas where large numbers of students live, such as the Marchmont area, have fought for the introduction of quotas on the number of HMO licensed properties in a particular neighbourhood, in an attempt to curb the number of students living in certain parts of the city. Residents complain about noise, litter and the affect on local amenities with students often getting blame they don't deserve.


The Problem:

Last week Glasgow MSP Pauline McNeil lodged an amendment to the Planning (Scotland) Bill which could see the number of HMO properties reduced in Edinburgh and other university cities such as Glasgow and Aberdeen. If this amendment passes it could cause huge problems for affordable student housing.

We are concerned that these amendments will have a markedly negative effect on the provision of affordable housing in the local area. This will especially affect students who are the most common occupants of HMO licensed properties and cannot afford to pay more in rent. Furthermore, allowing local authorities to set quotas by street, and therefore reject HMOs up for renewal, will displace student communities. Consequently there would be increased marketisation of properties close to campuses, potentially resulting in the reality that only rich students could afford to rent property close to campus. Poorer students would be dispersed outwards, resulting in increased transport costs and perhaps even exclusion from critical aspects of the student experience.

In addition there is the principled point that it's fundamentally wrong to use HMO legislation, designed to improve the quality and safety of rented property, for the purpose of socially engineering communities.


How to do your bit:

Join our campaign and make sure that MSPs know the disastrous effect that HMO quotas will have on Scotland's students. (http://ed.facebook.com/group.php?gid=221
...

Visit the following website to send your MSP a letter or email: http://www.nusonline.co.uk/scotland/Camp
...

Cheers,

Tom


SOME COMMENTS FROM THE KIDS ON THE GROUND:

Post #1
1 reply
J***** B*** (St Andrews) wrote on Nov 12, 2006 at 11:16 AM
What is the logic behind such an amendment?
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Post #2
B*** A**** (Edinburgh) replied to Jhonti's post on Nov 12, 2006 at 11:19 AM
it because there has been complaints from non-student residents in areas largely populated by students - mainly its the grey vote this politicians are going for.
So areas such as Marchmont will be hit hard by it. OF course, what these people fail to realise that its students that drive the economy of these areas. Using the example of Marchmont, if it wasnt for the students in that area then the local grocers wouldnt have exist and the number of convenience stores would halve, and the local hairdressers would go out of buisness and the local pubs would close and, and, and .......
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Post #3
L*** B***** (Edinburgh) wrote on Nov 13, 2006 at 9:24 AM
This make no sense - if people are comlaining about students in their area, surely it makes to to put all the students in the same area so that theres no one else living there to get annoyed by them.


SAMPLE LETTER:
13th November 2006


Dear Mike Pringle MSP/Mark Ballard MSP/Colin Fox MSP/Fiona Hyslop MSP/Robin Harper MSP/Margo Macdonald MSP/ Lord James Douglas-Hamilton MSP

Re: Amendments to the Planning Bill

I am a student at Edinburgh University and I’m writing to make you aware of my concerns regarding Stage Three amendments to the Planning Bill, being debated and voted on this Thursday. One tabled amendment requires all landlords to have planning consent as well as an HMO license in order to operate an HMO licensed property. Another amendment creates a provision for local authorities to limit the number of HMO properties operating within any given stairwell or street.

I am concerned that these amendments will have a markedly negative effect on the provision of affordable housing in my local area. This will especially affect students such as myself who are the most common occupants of HMO licensed properties and cannot afford to pay more in rent. Furthermore, allowing local authorities to set quotas by street and therefore reject HMOs up for renewal could displace student communities in Edinburgh and other university cities like Aberdeen, Dundee and Glasgow. Consequently, there would be increased marketisation of properties close to campuses, potentially resulting in the reality that only rich students could afford to rent property close to campus. Poorer students would be dispersed outwards, resulting in increased transport costs and perhaps even exclusion from critical aspects of the student experience.

In addition there is the principled point that it’s fundamentally wrong to use HMO legislation, designed to improve the quality and safety of rented property, for the purposes of socially engineering communities.

I hope you agree with the sentiments in this letter and vote against these amendments when they come before Parliament on Thursday.

Yours Sincerely,



Name:

Address:

3 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am a flat owner in Edinburgh and now have suffered the ridiculous HMO legislation for 2 years or so. I am an ex-edinburgh student myself, not just some outsider.

some of the problems I have experienced have been

... spent about £2000 'upgrading' the flat to contain firedoors (leading off from a stone stairwell), escape ladders (from a ground floor flat) and smoke alarms (including in the cupboards)

... the local residents who have lived there quite happily are ganging up on the HMO renewal date and posting unsubstantiated claims against the student tenants - making their life a misery and mine (I am not the only owner to suffer from this)

... the neighbours are using HMO's to remove the student classes from their streets!!

... the council are restricting the number of beds in a flat. For instance, in my flat there is 2 single beds in one room. They are now asking me to remove one of those beds as they HMO license is set to a number of people. This situation has actually arose as one of the tenants girl friends sometimes stays - but I don't think in the single bed (!) So what's this, the council preventing sleep-overs??

- I pay charges to my letting company of over £300 a year for paper work to do this, I have to pay over £100 for a 24 hours helpline (that nobody uses) and then charges to the council

- the tenants are sick of it too and are moving out.

so yes, PLEASE WRITE TO YOUR MPs. This legislation does not help anyone but the council beaurocrats

DB

2/28/2007 4:59 PM  
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Blogger ranjini said...

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Property for Rent in Edinburgh

2/22/2012 12:10 PM  

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