Houses in Multiple Occupation

Part of Office of the Deputy Prime Minister – in the House of Commons at 11:30 am on 14th May 2003.

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Photo of Andy Reed Andy Reed Labour/Co-operative, Loughborough 11:30 am, 14th May 2003

I thank my hon. Friend for that reply. I am sure that he is aware of the growth in the number of houses of multiple occupation in places such as Loughborough, which is trying to accommodate large increases in the number of students, and of the problems that that is causing in the centre of town. Will my hon. Friend ensure that any licensing system has real teeth so that we can try to tackle the problem and give local residents a real choice? Also, will he look again at the current exemption given to landlords? If their houses are occupied by students, they are exempt from paying council tax. Those landlords run the houses as businesses, and they are benefiting from that exemption.