Price fear over Loughborough student house limit

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Fears have been voiced that possible new rules over housing in Leicestershire could drive property prices down.

Charnwood Borough Council is looking at requiring planning permission for houses to be converted to multiple occupancy accommodation.

The Residential Landlords Association (RLA) claimed this made houses harder to sell and could cut prices by 30%.

But the council said it would just mean such changes being subject to scrutiny.

Local authorities have been given more power to control where houses are converted to multiple occupancy.

Market 'frozen'

Alan Ward, chairman of the Residential Landlords Association, believes this would reduce the appeal of a house.

"This measure freezes the market. When this was done in Nottingham last year, valuers reduced properties by up to 30%.

"If somebody now wants to sell their house it could seriously affect the value," he said.

Launching a consultation, the council said it valued the contribution of students to the area but too many such properties could cause social problems.

David Hankin, director of development at Charnwood council, said: "At the moment a landlord may acquire a family home, convert it for multiple occupation and move in six students, without applying for planning permission.

"This measure would not stop this happening but simply requires them to be subject to planning control and the council would make a judgement whether to allow it."

If the rules are approved by full council they will come into force after a government-imposed 12-month grace period for property owners.

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