TO LET boards littering the streets are the target of a councillor’s call to clean up Leamington.
Coun Jerry Weber says too many unnecessary and unwanted signs advertising student properties are being put up by landlords looking to rent student accommodation.
He told The Observer: “We have over 5,500 students in Leamington from Warwick University and we have had good links with the student union there for some time, but we are aware that the amount of student property advertising is getting out of hand.
“This isn’t about being anti-student, its about keeping our streets looking the best they can. The signs have become a real eyesore to residents over the last few years.”
Coun Weber argues students nowadays were far more likely to go online or university use networks to find housing, making the letting boards redundant.
He added: “I just don’t see the need for the amount of signs that we see on streets. Students live in a more digital age and will more likely look to the web for housing.
“The landlords are not currently restricted, so they often compete with each other, putting up more and more signs to get noticed by students.
“The students themselves are worried that making an area obviously student populated would draw some attention from thieves who target students, who normally have a lot of valuable equipment”
The councillor wants Warwick District Council to introduce regulations to curb the number of signs.
A number of local authorities with large student populations including Leeds, Nottingham and Loughbrough have already obtained permission to control letting signs in their area. These include a limit on how long signs can be displayed, the number of signs, and their design.
Coun Weber says the problem is at its worst at the start of the new university year and hopes such regulations could be in place by next autumn.
* A STUDENT landlord in Leamington has been fined nearly £3,000 for failing to obtain necessary licences
William Slora appeared before magistrates at Nuneaton Justice Centre for letting a property without obtaining an HMO (house in multiple occupation) licence.
Licences are required for properties of three or more storeys and housing five or more unrelated people, sharing kitchen or bathroom facilities.
Coun Norman Vincett said: “This case demonstrates the council will not tolerate landlords who fail to licence their properties. House in Multiple Occupation licensing has been in force now for over eight years. Landlords have a clear responsibility to ensure they are familiar with their legal obligations.”