This is what I saw when I was at the bottom of Barrack Road, at the junction of Strawberry Place, Barrack Road, Gallowgate and Pitt Street.
Look across the road you can see the new buildings, which include Verde and The View, which are student flats owned by Downing Students, also out of the picture behind these, JSK Studios, property companies specialising in modern student flats.
Considering there is a big housing shortage in Newcastle, of any other form than student flats, of which there is a surfeit, were I to move into one of these flats, would I be required to prove I was a student?
Also, were I to claim to be a student when I moved there, would I be required to pay council tax, as under normal circumstances students don’t pay?
If I had a property portfolio, which I wished to purchase one of these flats as an investment, and not get any student to live there, because it would not be worth the hassle, would I be required to pay any tax?
UPDATE… I don’t have a problem with students, I consider they are a benefit to Newcastle. My concern is with the large scale conversion of Newcastle into a large expensive student dormitory, by developers who are just in it to make very large sums of money.
Giles Fraser, writing in the Guardian, pointed this out about new builds in his parish in London…
“But not only are these flats being sold as piggy banks for east Asian capital looking for a safe place to park itself, many of them are not even occupied. Transparency International did some research looking at electricity use in areas where lots of flats are owned by anonymous companies. And – surprise, surprise – the electricity use was consistent with many of the flats being long-term empty.”