City Council joins SUSU against Letting Boards
Last Wednesday, Southampton City Council unanimously passed a motion to call for stricter controls over the use of letting boards in Southampton! HURRAY!
To-let signs are currently abused in Southampton! Agencies begin putting them up as early as October (when some students have only been here for one month), and don’t take them down for months after letting properties (which is against the law)! They are eye-sores for local residents, have been linked to increases in crime, and pressurise students into rushing for housing.
As you might have seen from some of the ongoing housing campaigning that SUSU has been leading this year, we take student housing issues seriously! Really seriously! We came across the issue of letting boards a couple of months ago, and have since been working with local councillors and residents to all come together on this issue, which has led to a Portswood councillor asking the entire city council to take action!
Councillor Adrian Vinson’s motion:
“This Council recognises the concerns of residents in many parts of the city at the forest of ‘to let’, ‘for sale’ and ‘sold by’ boards and posters, left in place for considerable periods of time, which is blighting neighbourhoods. Council notes that, in the age of the internet, such signs are no longer the principle means of attracting tenants.Council therefore urges the Executive to make full use of the powers available to curb the excessive display of such signs, including consideration of the adoption of a Regulation 7 Direction under the Town and Country Planning (Control of Advertisements) Regulations, and a rigorous Lettings Board Code as adopted by Leeds City Council and others.”
Since the city council motion, the story has been picking up a good deal of media coverage with BBC Breakfast and BBC Radio Solent both covering the developments. In terms of moving forwards, SUSU is hosting a community meeting this Saturday with local residents, police, media and councillors to work out exactly what the next steps could be. A very interesting model has been developed in Leeds, which involves restrictions on the time of year that signs can be put up.
If you’re interested in joining the ongoing SUSU Housing Campaign and helping us fight for students’ housing rights, then join our Facebook group, or contact me for more info.
Cheers for reading – your Union President – David Gilani