Landlords to blame for Holyland's Tenant Anti-Social Behaviour Says Student

Posted: 1/11/2019

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A student and tenant of the Holylands in Belfast has claimed that the severe anti-social behaviour problems caused by student-tenants is the fault of landlords! In a bizarre statement, Robert Murtagh when interviewed on BBC Newsline claimed that the anti-social behaviour exhibited by students that has dogged the area, was the fault of landlords. He went on to say that it was because landlords in the area did not show their student-tenants any respect. Reading between the lines, Robert appears to be saying that students have a right to run riot (literally) in the local area because their landlords show a lack of respect. Maybe we have a chicken and egg situation here but no doubt landlords would say that they can't respect tenants who don't respect the law, their property or their neighbours? It is difficult to believe that the remark has anything to do with housing conditions, as we have come a long way from the grotty damp homes of the eighties. Landlords are required to provide habitable housing and there is plenty of recourse to tenants who feel that their home is not habitable, without resorting to anti-social behaviour. Mr Murtagh did also say that mental health issues were partly to blame and quoted a staggering figure of 78% of students who allegeldy have had mental issues. One local resident quipped that the students had forced mental issues onto them because of their behaviour. Belfast City Council has also admitted that it has badly mis-managed the housing situation in the Holylands, by allowing too many HMOs. They also quote a lack of re-generation in the area as another contributor. The council was lately defeated in legal proceedings when it tried to curtail HMO licences that had previously been granted by NIHE. The last word went to a local resident who told the BBC that many years ago she had been a student at Queens and lived in the area at the time, and there wasn't the anti-social problems back then that there is now. 

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