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New scheme to cut down nuisance student homes in Bournemouth
LANDLORDS will have to sign up to a vetting scheme amid new moves to wipe out problem Houses of Multiple Occupation.
Senior councillors voted on Tuesday in favour of plans that it is hoped will clamp down on nuisance student homes and other properties in multiple occupation in the Winton East, Wallisdown and Winton West and Queen’s Park areas.
Residents in Winton and Charminster have long complained of problems such as noise, messy gardens, anti-social behaviour and lines of lettings boards.
Now, landlords will have to sign up to an accreditation scheme and the council will also employ a dedicated officer to increase enforcement, work with landlords, the community and organisations like the police, university and residents’ associations to tackle the problems.
It has come after the public were asked what should be done.
Cllr Robert Lawton, Bournemouth council’s cabinet member for housing, said: “We are committed to tackling the problems that residents have highlighted in their wards.
“It was very clear from feedback through the public consultation that local residents, partners and landlords wanted tougher action to be taken to tackle these issues.”
Richard Lambert, chief executive officer of the National Landlords Association, added: “It is essential that Bournemouth Borough Council uses its existing powers to enforce standards wherever necessary, and does not hesitate to prosecute the criminals who exploit people in need of housing.
“Equally, landlords must show their professionalism by continuing to strive for high standards through landlord accreditation and continued professional development,” he added.
In a joint statement, Bournemouth University and Arts University College, said: “Bournemouth University (BU) and the Arts University College at Bournemouth (AUCB) make a substantial economic and social contribution to the local area and many of our students are involved in voluntary and community work.
“However, we recognise that anti-social behaviour from a small minority of our students can impact substantially on the community.
“Over the past few years BU and AUCB have been working very closely with the council and police to try to tackle this and we already fund dedicated police officers and out of hours Environmental Health Office support.,” the statement added.
“BU and AUCB recognise that there is more to be done and therefore we remain committed to our partnership work with local community services, wholeheartedly support this initiative and will continue to contribute to the funding of community initiatives.”
The cabinet also praised former Winton councillor Anson Westbrook, who passed away on Wednesday, for his hard work on the issue.
- The council is hosting a community event on Tuesday, November 27, at 3pm in HMS Phoebe, Town Hall, Bournemouth.
The session will involve residents from the various area forums, as well as representatives from the universities, the police and councillors.
There will be a presentation to explain in more detail the proposed actions to be taken in the Winton area and an opportunity for people to ask questions.