National Issues and Developments
In recent years there has been a growth in the number of students gaining access to higher education.
In many towns and cities across the UK concentrations of student accommodation have developed.
‘Studentification’ is a term that is used to describe the process by which communities become heavily student occupied.
In Loughborough several areas of the town have become very popular with students. The University takes an active interest in working with other agencies to address the issues that have arisen. The University pro-actively works with residents groups, the local council and the Police.
The issue of studentification has been highlighted nationally and a measure proposed to assist was an amendment to the Use Classes Order.
Councils were given the powers to introduce an 'Article 4 Direction' as a way of managing issues locally. After a period of consultation, Charnwood Borough Council implemented an Article 4 Direction in February 2012.
Further detailed information on the Article 4 Direction is available from Charnwood Borough Council.
Loughborough University is lucky to have an academic expert, Professor Darren Smith, on studentification based within its Geography Department. You can find out more about his work on the University website.
Further information on Studentification can be found in the Universities UK Publication, Studentification: a guide to opportunities, challenges and practice.
Houses in Multiple Occupation (HMOs) and HMO licencing
Students often live in shared houses or flats. Many of these properties are houses in multiple occupation (HMO).
There is a complex legal definition setting out what an HMO is. However, in general terms, it is a building where more than one household lives and shares facilities.
Students living in the following types of accommodation are likely to be living in HMOs:
- a house or flat which is let to three or more people who form two or more households and who share a kitchen, bathroom or toilet
- a house converted into bedsits or other forms of non self-contained accommodation, which is let to three or more people who form two or more households.
Some HMOs need a licence. Licences are granted by the local authority which also has a duty to keep a register of all HMO licences in its area.
All larger HMOs must be licensed and this is called mandatory licensing. A HMO needs a licence if it has:
- three storeys or more, and
- is occupied by five or more people who form two or more households.
In October 2018 the HMO legislation will change – removing the number of storeys from the criteria.
There is also additional licensing. This is where a local authority extends licensing to other types of HMO in its area. There is much discussion in student towns around the country whether additional licensing helps in terms of the standard of HMO accommodation. Currently there is no additional licensing in Charnwood.
More information on HMOs in Charnwood is available on the Charnwood Borough Council website.