Too many signs on student housing in Sheffield is causing problems, says councillor

A councillor has complained about student neighbourhoods being swamped with To Let boards which are being permanently left up on properties.

Tuesday, 27th April 2021, 7:00 am

Crookes and Crosspool councillor Mohammed Mahroof said the boards were an eyesore but also pinpointed student homes which were empty outside term time.

He said: “There are numerous To Let boards which remain in situ as permanent fixtures. They are mainly in student areas, predominantly in Crookes, Broomhall and Ecclesall Road.

“They cause numerous problems for neighbours as they are aesthetically displeasing on the street scene and there are security issues outside university terms when student houses are more likely to be empty.

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“Many local authorities including Manchester, Leeds, Nottingham, Newcastle and Lincoln have stopped these permanent boards being erected or have enacted a code for their use.

“Does the council have a plan to work with landlords and put together a code to address this?”

Coun Julie Grocutt, Cabinet Member for transport and development, said letting boards should be taken down 14 days after the completion of a grant of a tenancy.

“Planning officers have enforcement powers regarding letting boards and a project led by housing was undertaken two years ago, working with planning colleagues to provide a dedicated resource to carry out intensive enforcement with landlords and letting agents in hot spot locations at a cost of £100,000 per year.

“However, this was an additional cost to the council which could not be taken forward.

“The housing SNUG scheme, which is an accredited scheme for landlords of student housing, does cover this and we encourage landlords to not keep up letting boards.

“SNUG has membership that covers over 20,000 student accommodation in the city including purpose built student homes in the city centre and houses in multiple occupancies in neighbourhoods.”

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