Fleming calls for tighter controls for Waterside’s buy-to-let housing market

Terraced housing bought for the buy-to-let market in the Waterside during the property boom are being allowed to fall into a state of disrepair, says Sinn Fein councillor Lynn Fleming.

Streets off Chapel Road, Violet Street, Primrose Street and Benvarden Avenue have been particularly badly affected and long-term residents feel the nature of the area has changed significantly in recent years,

“I have spoken to residents in those streets and they are very worried about the effect it is having on their area,” she said.

“During the boom in the property market several years ago investors bought up large areas of housing stock in the city.

“The majority of these were terraced houses which, on many occasions, were then subsequently turned into rented flats.

“It has resulted in many areas of the city having an imbalance of long-term residents and a transient population and with the downturn of the market many houses bought at that time can’t be sold and are being boarded up or allowed to fall into a state of disrepair.

“I am calling on the Minster for Social Development Alex Attwood to intervene and implement tighter controls on the renting policies of private landlords and vacant property owners.

“Landlords have a responsibility to the local community, especially those who are receiving thousands of pounds annually in housing benefit from the Department of Social Development.”