* A Scottish student lobbying group has called for a complete overhaul of regulations governing student flats. The Coalition of Higher Education Students in Scotland (Chess) says Scotland is bedevilled by anomalies and that there must be more direct control by the Scottish Executive.
The Executive is consulting on exemptions to the mandatory licensing scheme for Houses of Multiple Occupancy. The scheme, which came into force in October 2000, requires property owners to be licensed by the local authority if they rent rooms to five or more people.
This number is set to fall to three people in October 2003. Chess said it fully supported HMO licences, but said the legislation was "an example of a good idea poorly implemented", given what it condemned as unnecessary regional variations. An HMO licence in Glasgow costs £1,700, but only £208 in Aberdeen, it said.