Published by Daniel Jones
Worcester appears to be a major target for landlords of student property looking to expand their portfolios at the current time.
From next summer, a new rule will come into force that means any property owner who wishes to turn a home into student accommodation will have to apply for a 'change of use' before being allowed to do so.
Councillor Simon Geraghty has suggested there is anecdotal evidence to indicate investors are rushing to snap up properties before regulatory changes come into effect, reports the Worcester News.
He has urged the council to make its guidelines clearer and take steps to discourage prospective landlords from buying a raft of new properties now in an attempt to 'get ahead of the game'.
'It impacts upon the character of an area, on the parking situation in that street and on bin collections. But a year's notice was given for it and my fear is what will happen "in year" - residents are becoming concerned about people buying up properties now in a bid to circumvent the change. That's the feeling I'm beginning to get,' Councillor Geraghty stated.
Even before the scheme was announced, there were fears that Worcester was becoming overwhelmed by a disproportionate number of student properties.
With almost a year to go until the new rule is introduced, Councillor Geraghty believes some parts of the city are overrun with student houses. He picked out the St Clement ward, which includes parts of St John's, as an example of one area in which the number of student homes is 'close to a tipping point'.
Landlords who apply for a 'change of use' will find their proposal is examined by the council's planning department before a decision is made.
It is a ruling that is largely unpopular with those renting out homes in Worcester, as when it was first announced last year local landlords teamed up to start a campaign to have it thrown out.
Published on: October 9, 2013