Labour Councillors argue that landlords of Houses of Multiple Occupation (HMOs) should pay business rates. Hotels, self-catering and holiday lets are within the scope of business rates – but not HMOs, including the 2% of homes now given over to student lets.
The government could act to give councils powers to bring HMO landlords within the scope of business rates, and Labour will ask council to back this proposal going to Government ministers.
Cllr Warren Morgan, Leader of the Council, says: “There is an increasing impact on city services of HMOs, many of which house students. Residents are telling us that their community is changing, that there is too much fly-tipping and that they are paying for services where all too often HMO landlords are not.
Our universities contribute hugely to the city. We need to find a happier balance between the costs and benefits of being a university town. We are looking at more enforcement and regulation of HMOs, we will work with the universities to try to make neighbourhoods as well-maintained as possible, but the government needs to play its part as well by helping us offset the additional costs.”