The University of Warwick and Warwick District Council are encouraging local residents, neighbours and tenants to make contact with their Student Housing Enforcement Officer if they have concerns about student accommodation.
Jointly funded by the District Council and University, the Student Housing Enforcement Officer’s remit is to support local student tenants, landlords and other residents, helping to ensure that all communities living in Warwick District can enjoy a happy co-existence and that the homes students live in are safe and well-managed.
The local Student Housing Enforcement Officer, Rebecca Frazer, can be directly contacted via email (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Speaking about her role Rebecca said:
“Warwick District Council and the University of Warwick have been listening to tenants’ and other residents’ feedback about student housing and some of the issues they face. It’s helped us to identify ‘hot spot’ areas for some proactive inspections and offer more support with housing-related issues.
“I’m always happy to speak with student tenants, neighbours or landlords to discuss areas of concern in regard to rented properties.”
As part of the role Rebecca will work with landlords to let them know about their legal requirements, conducting socially distanced scheduled inspections to check property standards and disrepair – and taking calls and emails from tenants, landlords and neighbours about everything from repair issues to waste management.
“I want to get in and inspect as many properties as possible to make sure they are up to the high standard that we expect. It’s also important to spread the word, so students and their neighbours know who they can contact for help and advice regarding disrepair, rights and nuisance”, says Rebecca.
“I will be out and about, possibly knocking on a door near you or contacting you to arrange an inspection. Feel free to contact me with any housing enquiries using the details above and I can make sure you get the right support!”
Meg Bond, a member of SoLAR (South Leamington Area Residents), worked with the University and District Council to introduce and shape the role. Speaking about the success of the project so far she said:
“As the academic year begins, many students are moving into rented properties in Leamington. Some will discover problems and their neighbours may become concerned about issues such as poor waste management or late night noise. Rebecca acts as a first point of contact for tenants and neighbours to report their concerns about student rented accommodation.
“With some successful interventions already under her belt, she is ready to investigate reports, refer them to the appropriate department and offer helpful guidance, so do contact her.”
In a joint message to local residents addressing the new challenges of Covid-19, the University of Warwick’s Vice-Chancellor, Professor Stuart Croft and, Coventry University’s Vice-Chancellor, Professor John Latham CBE, said:
“We understand that you may have concerns around the safe integration of students in our communities and, with that in mind, we want to reassure you that the safety of our students, staff and our regional community is our absolute priority.
“We know everyone is keen to get back to something approaching ‘normal’ as soon as possible. Just as schools need to reopen in the autumn to ensure a generation of children do not suffer, students need to get on with building their futures in our region, where so many people rely on them for their livelihoods.
“That said, we take our responsibility for the welfare of our students, staff and local communities incredibly seriously. We are committed to doing everything we can to minimise risks and make the return of students as safe as possible for everyone.”
17 September 2020
Tom Frew, Senior Press and Media Relations Manager – University of Warwick: