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28 October 2014

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Lobbying for licensing
Houses to let in Headingley
Houses to let in Headingley
An organisation has been set up to support a campaign to license houses with a large number of occupants. The Leeds HMO Lobby has representatives from numerous community associations in north west Leeds.

The guide to Headingley

A student's perspective
Lobby for licensing
Residents attack landlords
A landlord speaks out
Learning, landlords and lager
Putting something back

HMO Lobby
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These shared houses, often containing students, are known as HMOs - Houses in Multiple Occupancy.

Richard Tyler from the Leeds HMO Lobby says: "We are looking for three things from a HMO licensing scheme.

"Firstly a clear definition of what a HMO is, at the moment there is no clear definition.

"Secondly we want to limit extensions built on properties by landlords. If they were licensed the planning could be controlled.

"Finally we want the local authority to have the option of refusing a licence if there are already too many shared houses in one area."

Distribution of students
Many of the students in Leeds are concentrated in as few areas of the city most notably Headingley, Hyde Park and Burley.

Richard Tyler is aware of the clustering.

"The problem with the universities is that they are expanding and have doubled the number of students in the past 10 years.

" The problem with this is that students are temporary and only just learning how to be responsible so they don’t take as much care of the area as long term residents do.

"This is not the students' fault, it is the universities that cause problems by introducing too many students into a small area.

They did not recognize this was a problem until a year ago, then they organised a community strategy and appointed a community liaison officer, who does a good job, but more needs to be done to distribute students."

To Let signs
The To Let signs cluttering Headingley's streets are another eyesore that the HMO lobby want solving:

"Our aim is to get a sign-free area. The council should to the government for planning permission to be put on To Let signs so that the council can refuse permission to put them up."

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