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Ministers Reject Coventry's Call to Charge Student Landlords

Posted by Richard Ward in

Image courtesy of Flickr, Creative Commons

Proposals to plug a £6.5 million annual blackhole in Coventry's taxes, created by the rise in student accommodation, have been turned down by a government minister.

Nuneaton MP and local government minister Marcus Jones told the House of Commons the government has no plans to change the law to force students' landlords to pay business rates.

There's been a growing campaign to make students' landlords pay tax to help fund crucial services.

Figures suggest that over the last seven years, Coventry city council could have raised an additional £37.5 million had those houses occupied by students been taken by families.

The boom in student accommodation in Coventry is estimated to be costing £6.5 million a year in lost tax revenues.
Neither student houses or purpose-built accommodation are classified as businesses.

Coventry city councillor John Mutton said of the proposals: "The universities and students help bring a real vibrancy to the city, and we believe that it should be the businesses and landlords, who benefit from their income, who should be asked to contribute to business rates."

From 2020, government will stop providing councils with a Rate Support Grant and instead local authorities will be able to keep all the revenue they generate from Business Rates. Under the current setup more than half of the income generated from Business Rates is handed back to government.