Landlords urged to pay student council tax

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Town Hall in Liverpool. Photo: Ida Husøy

Town Hall in Liverpool. Photo: Ida Husøy

Liverpool’s Assistant Mayor is calling for all landlords to pay their student residents’ council tax.

His campaign comes after it was found that one in 25 homes in Liverpool is a student occupancy, making the residence exempt from paying council tax.

Councillor Nick Small has called for new tax powers after the current government effectively reimburses the city through a grant, for the estimated £9m council tax lost to the city on close to 9,000 exempt properties.

The Labour councillor has written to Prime Minister David Cameron to ask him to consider rules to allow councils to levy business rates on the owners of halls of residents and student houses.

JMU Journalism TV report by Astra Newton

This will mean that councils will be dependent on council tax and business rates, plus any other income they earn such as from leisure centres, to cover the cost of local services.

Councillor Small said: “Liverpool will be losing more than £9m from 2020 because of student council tax exemptions. This is on top of the council already having to pay to empty student bins, clean their streets and pay for other vital services for student halls and homes.

“We have three great universities in the city therefore I want Liverpool to remain a student-friendly city, but landlords need to contribute more.

“All I am asking for is that student homes are treated like hotels and holiday homes rented out, as landlords are still operating like any other business.”

About Beth Collins, JMU Journalism