Agents should contribute more

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There has been much debate in recent weeks regarding the hundreds of ‘To Let’ signs plaguing the properties of Leamington. Residents have complained these look unsightly and make the town look ‘student-ified’. As a student who has lived in Leamington for three years and now an officer of the Students’ Union – I have to say I agree with them.

As active members of the Leamington community, we care about what our town looks like, and so most students agree that the tendency of letting agents and landlords to display ‘To Let’ signs on houses for most of the year is unnecessary. Firstly, there are better ways for students to find good quality accommodation than to roam the streets knocking on the doors of random houses. What’s more, these signs are dangerous! What better way to help out burglars targeting vacant student houses during the holidays than to advertise on the side of the house. This is, however, of little concern to letting agents and landlords that see these signs as a good opportunity to advertise their service.

Though to some this issue may seem small, I think it characterises a wider problem we have in Leamington. Part of my job is to work in the local community. Key groups regularly meet up to discuss ways to improve the town and resolve issues. Represented around the table are students, permanent residents, businesses and the council – letting agents and landlords are nowhere to be seen.

I think it’s about time that the letting agents and landlords start to engage in helping improve the community for everyone. As people who make small fortunes, often from renting poor quality properties to residents and students – I think they should contribute more to the efforts of many to make Leamington an even better place to live. I look forward to seeing them around the table.

Rob Ankcorn, Sabbatical Officer, Warwick SU