One word – Fairness
The Cornish towns of Penryn and Falmouth have recently seen a massive influx of students following the opening of Exeter University's Tremough Campus. This has resulted in hundreds of houses in the towns and neighbouring communities being purchased by absentee landlords who rent them out as multiple occupancy accommodation for students.
Students do not have to pay council tax on their accommodation……..and neither do the owners! This huge loophole in the law means that no council tax is being collected on at least one third of properties in the town with the burden of the tax resting on local householders in an area already known for its low wages and high living costs.
Whole streets have been taken over by student accommodation resulting in a number of social issues, such as refuse bags being left out at all times for seagulls to rip open; houses that are not properly maintained by the absentee landlord/owner; and locals being forced to sell up as they find themselves surrounded on all sides by young people who are nautrally enjoying their first taste of freedom from home!
A know the two towns are delighted to house the university, but this loophole in the law allows the property owners to make huge sums of money through student rents, without contributing to the council tax burden and public services. This is happening in every university town in the country, and in my opinion, is unfair and should be rectified.