Welcome to the Website
of the
NOTTINGHAM ACTION GROUP ON HOUSES IN MULTIPLE OCCUPATION
 

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THE NAG
WHO ♦ WHAT ♦ WHY ♦ HOW?
 


“We are the music-makers,
And we are the dreamers of dreams, ...
... Yet we are the movers and shakers,
Of the world forever, it seems.”

[Arthur O’Shaughnessy, Poems of Arthur O’Shaughnessy]

We are residents living in neighbourhoods from across a large part of the City of Nottingham (Sherwood, The Arboretum, Hyson Green, Radford, The Park, Lenton, Dunkirk, The Meadows, Wollaton Park, Wollaton, Lenton Abbey), and also in Beeston and West Bridgford.

Although our neighbourhoods are as different from one another as we are, what they have in common are the problems caused by increasing concentrations of so-called 'Houses in Multiple Occupation' (HMOs) - shared houses with absentee landlords and short-term, highly transient tenants.

What we have in common is the feeling that as individual residents we run the risk of having little or no say in what primarily local and national government, our higher education establishments, developers, investors, and others are planning and doing, even though their decisions directly affect us and the future of the neighbourhoods in which we live. As individuals we feel we have little or no voice. However, we believe that coming together as a group gives us a voice.

In February 2004, we did get together and formed the Nottingham Action Group on HMOs – the NAG – not a nice name, but appropriate. What has been happening to our neighbourhoods is not nice for those who live in them, or for their futures, and we are ready to nag and keep on nagging to get things done.

Whilst we cannot change what has happened, perhaps we too can become not just the 'dreamers of dreams' but also the 'movers and shakers', and, by influencing what may be going to happen, so help shape the future of our neighbourhoods.

For the NAG that future needs to be neighbourhoods that are resilient, balanced and sustainable, and where people feel happy to put down roots and contribute to the future of the City of Nottingham as a whole. In other words:

‘... places where people want to live and work and learn, now and in the future. ...'



WHAT IS A HOUSE IN MULTIPLE OCCUPATION (HMO)?
 

An HMO is often also known as a 'shared house'. Put as simply as possible, an HMO is a building, or part of a building, occupied as a main residence by more than one household where a 'household' can be one person or several people provided that they are related to one another. So, for example, a home is probably an HMO if 

•three or more unrelated people live there as at least two separate households, and

•the people living there share the same amenities such as a kitchen and/or bathroom.

For more information about HMOs and about legislation relating to HMOs, we suggest you take a look at these websites:

http://www.hmolobby.org.uk

http://www.nottinghamcity.gov.uk/HMO 

Also, Nottingham City Council publish a regularly up-dated Register of Licensed HMOs, which can be downloaded from the appropriate link in this page: http://www.nottinghamcity.gov.uk/HMO. Scroll to the 'Downloads' section and the register is the last item on the list.


COMPLAINTS ABOUT LICENSED HMOs
 

Complaints about licensed HMOs can be made directly by e-mailing:

hmo@nottinghamcity.gov.uk


REPORT A ROGUE LANDLORD

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If you want advice or help relating to the condition and management of your privately rented property

Visit:
www.nottinghamcity.gov.uk/article/29046/Report-a-rogue-landlord-or-problem-with-your-private-rented-property
E-Mail: environmental.health@nottinghamcity.gov.uk
Telephone: 0115 915-2020 (Option 4)
Write to: Environmental Health, Community Protection, Nottingham City Council, Loxley House,
Station Street, Nottingham NG2 3NG



FOR YOUR DIARY
 

NAG MEETINGS & EVENTS

February 2019 Unipol-NAG (U-NAG) Open Meeting: 'Current Trends & Future Developments in the Student Housing Market'

Notes of this meeting, held on Thursday 21 February 2019, are now available to read and to download when you open this page.

January 2018 NAG Open Meeting: Notes of Meeting Now Available

Notes of this meeting, held on Friday, 26 January 2018, are available to read and to download when you open this page.


NATIONAL, NOTTINGHAM & NEIGHBOURHOOD: MEETINGS, EXHIBITIONS, CONSULTATIONS & EVENTS

Saturday 20 April 2019: Easter Egg Hunt

Jubilee Campus, 10.00 am to 12 noon. Fee £3.00 per person. booking required.

Friday 5 April to Saturday 18 May 2019: NTU Bonington Gallery Exhibition 'C/J'

An exhibition of newly commissioned work by Los Angeles-based artist, musician and jewellery designer Chloe Maratta and Glasgow-based musician Joanne Robertson.


NEIGHBOURHOOD: PARLIAMENTARY CONSTITUENCY ADVICE,
WARD MEETINGS, WARD WALKS & WARD EVENTS

Nottingham East Constituency: Contact information for Chris Leslie MP.
Nottingham South ConstituencyContact and constituency advice surgery information for Lilian Greenwood MP.

Dunkirk & Lenton Ward (D&L): Ward Walks: Nottingham City Council restructuring is affecting the programme of ward walks. To try and avoid posting inaccurate information, details of future Dunkirk & Lenton Ward walks will be posted only as and when they become available. Ward Councillors' Surgeries: Lenton Centre, 6.30 pm second Tuesday of every month; Dunkirk Community Centre, 7.00 pm fourth Friday of every month.

Wollaton East & Lenton Abbey Ward (WELA): Ward Walks: Nottingham City Council restructuring is affecting the programme of ward walks. To try and avoid posting inaccurate information, details of future Wollaton East & Lenton Abbey Ward walks will be posted only as and when they become available.

WELA Councillors' Monthly Update: WELA_Councillors_Update_March_2019.pdf

NOTE: After Tuesday 2 May 2019, Dunkirk & Lenton Ward and Wollaton East & Lenton Abbey Ward will be combined into a new ward - Lenton & Wollaton East Ward (which will also include an area around Crown island). The Editor of this website wishes to thank Cllr. Longford, Cllr. Piper, Cllr. Trimble and Cllr. Webster for the efforts they have made on behalf of the people who live in these wards over the last four years.


NEWS DESK
 


NATIONAL NEWS

'Save the Student' Website Survey Results: No Water & Rodents Among Student Housing Gripes

Kevin Peachey (Personal Finance Reporter, BBC News) on Wednesday 13 March 2019 reported on concerns raised by students in a recent survey by 'Save the Student': Included in the list of ten biggest concerns are the state of accommodation and noisy housemates.

Anticipated Cut in Student Fees: Are Universities at Risk of Collapsing?

On Monday 18 February 2019 Sean Coughlan, BBC News Education & Family Correspondent reported on the growing expectation that university fees will be cut and on the possibility that some universities may go to the wall.

'Studentification': The Negative Impacts of Large Student Populations

Peter Beech, writing in the Guardian, Thursday 6 December 2018, reported on how people living in areas with high concentrations of students in university towns and cities from Bristol to Nottingham are asserting their right to get a good night's sleep.

 

NOTTINGHAM NEWS

Nottinghamshire Police Working with Universities to Crack-Down on Drug-Related Issues

Jon Pritchard, writing in the Nottingham Post on 5 March said that dealers are using business cards and other promotional material to advertise drugs to students in Nottingham. Nottingham University and Nottingham Trent University are working with the Police to crack down on the problem.

Medical Practitioner's Tribunal Service Suspends GP HMO Landlord

The Nottingham Post (Matt Jarram, Friday 8 March 2019) reported on a Medical Practitioner's Tribunal hearing where Dr, Balvinder Singh Mehat was judged to have brought the profession into disrepute as a result of his activities as an HMO landlord and a director of Mehat Properties Limited.

Petition to Cap Number of Student Homes in Beeston

Matt Jarram, reported in the Nottingham Post (Monday 18 February 2019) that Beeston Labour and Liberal Democrat councillors are calling on Broxtowe Borough Council to cap the amount of student developments in the town.

 

NEIGHBOURHOOD NEWS

"That Guy Looked Like He Was Robbing the Place"

On Friday 15 March 2019, Alex Mace and Dan Russell (Deputy Digital Editor) reported in the Nottingham Post that a student dressed as a policewoman confronted a thief in Gill Street South student accommodation, but later items from the flat were found to have been stolen.

Yet Again Student House Parties Inflict Noise on Arboretum Neighbourhoods

The Nottingham Post (Joseph Locker Sunday 24 February 2019 and Phoebe Ram Monday 25 February 2019) report on the continuing and vexatious issue of student anti-social behaviour, in this instance noisy house parties in Nottingham's Arboretum neighbourhoods during the week-end resulting in CPOs handing out warnings and fixed penalty notices to a number of student households.

Great Places Commission Visit to Lenton

As part of its fact finding, the Great Places Commission's visit to the East Midlands included Lenton Green, the Nottingham City Homes redevelopment of the Lenton high rise flats site.


UNIVERSITY CORNER
 

NOTTINGHAM TRENT UNIVERSITY

Community Statistics & Response Rates

At the meeting facilitated by the NAG on 26 January 2018, Nottingham Trent University presented its community statistics and response rates for the period from September 2017 to 26 January 2018. The university will be providing up-dated community statistics and response rates for each term of the academic year. 

A summary of Nottingham Trent University's community statistics for the academic year 2017 to 2018 is now available and can be downloaded here:

NTU_Community_Statistics_2017_to_2018.pdf

Nottingham Trent's 'Moving Into the Community' information portal can be accessed here:

 http://browzer.co.uk/u/ntu/preview/77

NOTTINGHAM UNIVERSITY

Community Newsletter

Community Newsletter Spring 2019

For information about University Park and Jubilee Campus Park events, and guides to gardens, trees, etc. visit:

https://www.nottingham.ac.uk/sustainability/grounds 


EDITOR'S NOTES
Fifteen Years On!
 

On 15 February 2004, a meeting of residents from neighbourhoods from across a wide area of the City of Nottingham, and beyond, agreed to the formal constitution of the Nottingham Action Group on HMOs. One of the driving forces behind its formation was the albeit low-level but persistent anti-social behaviour - predominantly noise, poor waste management (the ‘wheelie bin issue’), bad or non-existent property maintenance – that residents living in so-called 'studentified' neighbourhoods were being subjected to by HMO tenants and their landlords.

By working with each other; with the other groups in towns and cities across the country which together form the National HMO Lobby; with Nottingham City ward councillors and council officers; and with MPs locally and nationally, the NAG helped to affect significant changes to housing and planning legislation which gave, and continue to give, local authorities the better part of the toolkit they need to deal with the problems that unfortunately studentification brings with it. In doing this, the NAG has always highlighted the responsibilities that Nottingham's two universities have in not only acknowledging the problems inherent in studentification, but, and most importantly, in dealing with them.

So, whilst we welcome the joint response from the Nottingham University and Nottingham Trent University reported by the Nottingham Post (Yet Again Student House Parties Inflict Noise on Arboretum Neighbourhoods) and the reassurance, given at the U-NAG meeting on 21 February 2019, that they are working together and with other partner agencies and residents, it is truly disappointing and frustrating to say the least that, 15 years on, residents are still experiencing the same destructive effects of that proportion of students whose behaviour is unacceptable and unnecessary. Also, we ask whether the amount of funding the universities are now both providing for additional CPO (over)time is really proportionate to the number of students in the city (around 60,000 we are told), and how well it addresses the obvious strain being placed on Community Protection and other Council services.

No doubt these comments play into the hands of those who label the NAG as 'anti-university' and 'anti-student': it never has been either of these. A good deal of what it has done and continues to do supports Nottingham's universities (and the City of Nottingham) by seeking to improve the quality and safety of the accommodation  students live in, whether that is houses in multiple occupation (HMOs) or, for that matter, any other student homes. However, students have a responsibility to behave in a manner that does not make the sort of impact on the lives of others that, yet again, the Nottingham Post has reported on over the past few days. In their turn, the universities also have a responsibility towards those residents whose lives and neighbourhoods are disrupted by the detrimental effects of studentification, and towards the city in which they are located.

This irresponsible behaviour brings students and the institutions they represent into disrepute. It puts an unacceptable strain on the diminishing resources available to the Police, Community Protection and other Nottingham City Council services. It stifles those neighbourhoods, like the ones in the Arboretum, Dunkirk & Lenton, Radford & Park, and Wollaton East & Lenton Abbey wards, which have been burdened with the unwanted and unwarranted label of 'student area', and, so often lost sight of in the emotional and emotive atmosphere created by anti-social behaviour, it continues to prevent them from moving forward to become what they rightfully should be: places where people want to live, and work and learn ... and not leave.

There is no simple answer to this problem. However, it is the NAG's continuing belief that answers can only be found and the problems properly addressed if the will is there to do so. It will only be there if neighbours in all affected neighbourhoods, whether they are within the City of Nottingham's boundaries or beyond, work together and support one another.

A good part of the NAG's history, especially as a group lobbying for recognition of the issues surrounding HMOs and for changes to national legislation and implementation of those changes locally, can be found in the pages of this website, in particular the 'Publications' page. It is by no means a full catalogue: there is much that was and continues to be done in the background and is rarely in a publishable format.  However, by looking back through the NAG's history, it is important, as well as gratifying, to acknowledge that progress, slow and painful though it is, has been made. Tto recognise that, despite the groundhog day nature of problems that keep recurring, fundamental changes have taken place, and to thank those people, too many to name, who have helped to make those changes possible and whose continuing involvement is essential if there is to be any hope of future progress.

 


ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS & DISCLAIMER
 

The Nottingham Action Group on HMOs wishes to thank: Nottingham City Council for funding support; everyone whose contributions (photographs, ideas, articles, work) form part of this website; and Magneto Technologies Ltd (http://magnetoweb.com) for the expertise which has enabled us to set up and maintain this website.

Last, but by no means least, we also thank our neighbours in the National HMO Lobby for their continuing help and support.


The views and opinions expressed in contributions to this website do not necessarily reflect those of the Nottingham Action Group on HMOs, its committee, or its wider membership.


Whilst we endeavour to ensure that reports are accurate, from time to time mistakes may occur. If you feel this is the case, please contact the Nottingham Action Group on HMOs. Information on how to do so is available on the 'Contact Us' page of this website.