Students to foot bill for curbs on bad landlords

October 5, 2001

Glasgow students are having to pick up the tab for a scheme intended to protect them from dodgy landlords.

Under a programme introduced following Scotland's Houses in Multiple Occupation Order 2000, the city's universities have to pay to be licensed, as do private landlords.

The three universities are to get a bill of some £350,000, and this cost is likely to be passed on to students. The University of Glasgow, with between 3,000 and 4,000 bed spaces, will have the highest fee to pay, at £150,000; Strathclyde £97,500; and Glasgow Caledonian £13,050.

Glasgow and Strathcylde confirmed that the students would ultimately have to pick up the bill and Caledonian said it had not yet decided.

The universities will also have to pay £85,000 extra for 12 existing halls of residence.

It could have been worse. Fees for the universities were capped after initial discussions, but if they had faced the same charges as the private sector - £1,700 a house - the sums could have been much higher.

The University of Edinburgh, which has more bed spaces than Glasgow University, will only pay £30,000 a year, a rate that is fixed for four years.

* The Unite Group is calling on the government and local authorities to classify student flats as social housing for the purposes of new builds. This could mean many more private halls of residence springing up if developers used them to fulfil their social obligations when working on a new site.

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