KUSU Anger over Tax on Student Housing

Posted on February 14, 2012



Kingston University Students’ Union has today (14th February 2012) reacted to Kingston Council’s consultation on HMO additional licensing.

The Royal Borough of Kingston upon Thames Council (RBK) is currently consulting on adding licensing requirements for Houses in Multiple Occupancy (HMOs). Houses in Multiple Occupancy are homes that are occupied by people who live together but are not related. Most private student houses and flats fall into this category. Currently licences are only required for houses of more than 5 occupants with 3 storeys or more but under the additional licensing scheme it would affect any building and therefore most of the over 7,000 students living in Kingston.

President of the Union – Chris Dingle said:

“Additional licensing would be potentially catastrophic for students in Kingston. Student housing is predominantly in the private sector in Kingston and landlords will naturally pass the cost of a licence onto the student leading to rocketing housing costs or even worse driving student letting underground which undoubtedly lead to horrific conditions in student housing.”

“The consultation survey is incredibly biased in its wording. Question 6 (or 17 in the tenant consultation) is flawed in its construction and assumes that additional licensing will improve standards rather than drive them down underground.”

“This is simply a tax on students and one has to wonder if this is just being done to generate income from the heavy student population in the borough.”

“This is simply an indirect tax that will do absolutely nothing to improve standards, and will make life worse financially and environmentally for those living in HMOs. The construction of the survey would seem to indicate the council have already made up their mind.”

Chris Dingle said he will be pursuing this matter with council leader Derek Osbourne and would encourage students to fill in the consultation and say no to question 6/17.

A copy of the consultation documents can be found on Kingston Council’s website or can be sent to you by email if you contact president@kingston.ac.uk. The consultation ends on 4th March.