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Letting agency told to 'educate student tenants to keep bins tidy'

A former councillor says letting agents should be responsible for ensuring student tenants know how to organise their bins in a tidy manner - and has publicly told one agency to get tough with the landlord and tenants of one particular house.

The Bristol Post reports that a 10 bedroom house in the city, occupied by students, appears to have only two wheelie bins for household waste. 

The house, in the St Andrew’s district, first came to public attention in October when the city council’s waste contractor refused to collect the bins because they were overflowing with rubbish and did not have recyclables separated from waste.

The Post quotes a spokesman for the property’s letting agency, Ocean, saying at the time: “We’re looking to educate young adults on how to recycle, look after their own refuse and be better parts of the community, alongside [contractor] Bristol Waste.”

A spokesperson for Bristol Waste added: “We’ve explained the need to recycle properly and that general waste must be contained within the black bin. We are providing the letting agent with additional information about recycling for the residents of this property.”

Now the issue has surfaced again, involving the same property and the same agency.

Former city councillor Christian Martin - who lives nearby and criticised the agency in October - posted a photograph of overflowing bins outside the property just before Christmas.

He then wrote on Twitter: “Lovely Christmas gift your tenants left for the Christmas holidays @OceanBristol so much for you managing & monitoring correctly the waste disposal by your tenants - this being the same property on Cromwell Rd bs6 that was brought to your attention in October!!!”

Martin told the Post: "There can be no excuses from tenants on how, when and where the rubbish needs to be disposed of and Ocean need to get tougher with the tenants and landlord."

Letting Agent Today has contacted Ocean for comment.

Poll: Is it right that letting agencies should have to 'nanny' tenants like this?

PLACE YOUR VOTE BELOW

  • Neil Moores

    The Agents should fine the tenants...but no doubt there would be an outcry or this would be illegal............. or they should evict them (and we all know a judge wouldn't agree to that in a hurry)..........
    Here's a whacky idea.....the council should stop enabling people's ineptitude and actually prosecute the offenders. I hate to think how these guys can get through a degree course when they can't work out how to put a bin out properly!

  • jeremy clarke

    If the council, the waste company and the agent know that there are only 2 bins available and that is insufficient then the waste company needs to provide more bins to the property. No doubt the local council police the collection schedule so they need to liaise with the tenants and educate on usage. The agent then might have a chance of keeping on top of things but without the tools and the direction the problem will persist.

  • icon

    There is a deep down problem for this 'fiasco' and it is entirely the fault of councils and waste management policy.

    I have properties in an area well away from where I live. I go to block management and leaseholder management meetings and this problem comes up all most every time. It even came up on a camp site I visited on holiday.

    The problem: People in these HMOs come from all over the country/world. Every where they come from has different rubbish reclining arrangements and as an added extra, different use regulations for the colour of the bins and sacks. How in the name of your favourite deity how are strangers in a new town going to know what to do? There are two answers.

    1. The council trains every new arrival at the HMO when they take up residence (!??). It is not the lettings agent responsibility as residents pay council tax and that is the route that rubbish collection is organized.

    2. The camp site owner explained this to me. Provide all the relevant bins to keep everyone happy. This also satisfies inspections and gives goody points for obtaining tourism grants.
    Collect the bins up and pool all the wast in large dump bins. Next send it all off together as industrial waste. Of course this is an expense but it is less so than constant argument, fines and loss of grants.

    Funnily enough my block agent does exactly the same thing. Here the only remaining problem is large items such as beds and old baths. This is within the scope of what the agent can handle and costs are billed back to the block charge - as are the industrial waste charges.

  • Property  Guru

    Im sure in other countries our councils would be seen as unfit for purpose.

  • icon

    I think it’s a little unfair to continually highlight student accommodation. I own/manage 4 HMO’s - all “professional” lets with working individuals in their 20-30’s. I provide them with the appropriate recycling bins and leaflets from the council on how to recycle, but they all still struggle to get it right. This generation just don’t seem to care, they’re more interested in social media than recycling. The council needs to come up with an easier recycling scheme and retail in general need to come up with a way of using less packaging around their products. As more and more landlords are squeezed out of the industry and renters end up in government provided accommodation, the council will then finally wake up as to what a challenge this is - then maybe they’ll do something productive! Landlords/letting agents are subject to a witch hunt on all fronts. When we have moved to a different industry the government and local councils will have a real problem to deal with. My message to the powers that be is “be careful what you wish for”.

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