126 Views
1 Comments

War against the HMOs?

Friends is the most repeated show in television history. Whenever there is nothing on, we can all agree to engage in the most common form of televised procrastination and settle down and watch a nice episode of Friends, the show that for ten years sometimes successfully – often hilariously – defined the sit-com genre. Last Tuesday, after somehow finding new laughs in an early episode I must have seen 4 times already, I felt prompted to ask my house-mate: why was there never a successful British Friends?

“We just don’t do sit-coms” was the quickly decided answer. But I think there’s more to it than that: the fact is, if Friends were set in Britain, airing on BBC3, all we’d see would be six irresponsible adults approaching their thirties and (shock horror!) still renting.

But “how,” I hear you gasp, “does this hilarious and insightful anecdote lead in to a serious article about Houses in Multiple Occupancy, and the recent debate with Brighton city council over their future?!”

Well, our Union and student politics seem so interested in other “important” political issues that Houses of Multiple Occupancy (HMOs), despite its catchy three letter abbreviation, has been seen as an unimportant side issue of the student experience – i.e., not as crucial as efforts to stop students drinking Coke. (But surely during our time in university we can develop a more socially responsible attitude against marketisation and learn not to drink coke a cola because of their disgraceful human rights record?)

Adopting good lifestyles shouldn’t stop when we leave university, so why should HMOs? As soon as we get our degrees why are we expected to escape our “student ghettos,” move back home, get a job and start scraping for our own house?

Before I hear you egged-on Brighton & Hovers start shouting about littering students bringing your area and precious property values down, I’d like to point out there are many social benefits to HMOs. Living with friends is the first experience most young people have living outside of their family home. Why should this experience be limited to students? Witness East Slope in fresher’s week, when eight hundred students wake up to find their mums not there anymore. They must learn independence and how to look after themselves. Students might have messy houses, and East Slope on a Friday night might be a bit loud, but people living there place value on other things. Most importantly, living with friends gives you the experience of being a member of a community of equals, sharing responsibilities with each other; a consensual attitude develops to deal with any inevitable conflicts.

‘Students might have messy houses, and East Slope on a Friday night might be a bit loud, but people living there place value on other things’

Living with friends brings with it automatic social capital that being an individual living alone, waiting to bring a family into your home doesn’t. You have an already developed support network and opportunities to interact with others when you need it.

Our society in Britain places too much emphasis on owning a home; to have made it in the world you need to own your own semi-detached house, where you live with your traditional family. If you really want to make it, you should try to own a second home – they apparently go up in value (does the house get any better with the higher price tag?), and you can then rent your second house out to those unfortunates who don’t have their own home: perhaps a group of young people living with friends. This sort of attitude has many destructive social outcomes and, as students, we have the opportunity to change our generation’s view and prevent it becoming ingrained. Basing so much value in home ownership is demeaning to those who choose to rent, creating a social class divide.

This in turn allows landlords to take advantage of tenants seen as an underclass, charging them higher rents without upholding uniform standards. This creates a negative cycle whereby renters are stuck renting unable to save up for the home ownership that they increasingly value, thus strengthening the position of the homeowners. Meanwhile the renting class are forced to work harder and harder getting themselves more in debt, and spending less money on themselves, simply to try and get that Holy Grail: the mortgage down payment. Our current economic woes come down in large part to this in building our economy on complex but abstract systems all designed to buy houses in the west and then let them go up in value as if this makes us somehow richer in the real world.

By using negative terms such as studentifacation, student ghettos, and squatters, the home owning interests seek to marginalise those who don’t conform to this ridiculous concept in the same way we make fun out of the old man at the allotment for not going off to Tesco’s for his carrots.

Even the positive debate on building new eco-friendly towns suffers this bias. What type of houses do they want to build? You’ve guessed it! Semi-detached homes for the young professional and family. But in the future mindful of the dangers of over population, past housing problems and limited recourses this type of living will become less popular or available only to upper middle classes, our definition of the family is changing from the heterosexual ideal of the past mum, dad, 2.4 children and a dog to one based on a support network of friends and biological family.

If we are so committed to resisting marketisation of our culture and if we truly want to take the high minded view that as students we have a special role in shaping our generations views then we should place support of HMOs at the heart of our views on society. Students should join with their community to call for rent control quality HMOs and better tenant’s rights.

Get the best viral stories straight into your inbox!

Don't worry, we don't spam

One Comment

  1. Pingback: A HMO War Takes Place in England | Your HMO Expert - HMO Property Investing

Leave a Reply

Join the Badger Team

Apply today!

Latest Posts

Union obliterates the debate – unwritten requirement used to shut down free speech debate
Campus News
291 views1
Campus News
291 views1

Union obliterates the debate – unwritten requirement used to shut down free speech debate

Jordan Wright - April 27, 2018

Student society Liberate the Debate’s most recent event was cancelled over a lack of compliance with the Students' Union's (USSU) requirement for a neutral chair - a…

Review: Nick Cave Double Bill at The Old Market (TOM’s Film Club)
Arts
25 views
Arts
25 views

Review: Nick Cave Double Bill at The Old Market (TOM’s Film Club)

Sophie Coppenhall - May 23, 2018

What a phenomenal contrast these two films present when watched side-by-side. In essence, together they are capable of tracing inner and outer metamorphoses of their subjects. The…

Dollywould at The Old Market preview
Arts
30 views
Arts
30 views

Dollywould at The Old Market preview

Alex Hutson - May 22, 2018

From the 22nd May - 25th May 2018 DollyWould will be showing at The Old Market. An exciting new show, presented by Sh!t Theatre, who won the…

Exhibition: Io-sono Fedilouu
Artist Focus
83 views
Artist Focus
83 views

Exhibition: Io-sono Fedilouu

Ricardo Reverón Blanco - May 16, 2018

Last week artist Fedilou made her debut exhibition in the downstairs space of Morelli Zorelli, a quaint vegan Italian restaurant in Hove, featuring a collection of intimate…

Interview with Philosophy faculty and COGS director Ron Chrisley
Interview
57 views
Interview
57 views

Interview with Philosophy faculty and COGS director Ron Chrisley

Nikolaos Manesis - May 15, 2018

Ron Chrisley is a Reader in Philosophy, on the faculty of the Sackler Centre for Consciousness Science, and is the director of COGS (Centre for Cognitive Science).…

Adam review
Arts
112 views
Arts
112 views

Adam review

Ketan Jha - May 13, 2018

If you have been a stranger to the stage this spring and decide to see one contemporary show, let it be Adam. This reviewer went in entirely…

Brighton Fringe Preview: Nick Cave Double Bill at The Old Market (TOM’s Film Club)
Arts
110 views
Arts
110 views

Brighton Fringe Preview: Nick Cave Double Bill at The Old Market (TOM’s Film Club)

Sophie Coppenhall - May 13, 2018

In celebration of iconic Brighton local, legendary alt-rock musician (and episodic actor) Nick Cave, TOM’s Film Club are hosting a double-bill screening of his films at The…

Whimsical fairy-tale meets class war – Standard: Elite review
Arts
131 views
Arts
131 views

Whimsical fairy-tale meets class war – Standard: Elite review

Georgia Grace - May 11, 2018

Meta-theatricality and interactivity are becoming all the more vogue in contemporary theatre, and in a world where the arts are becoming increasingly open and democratised, I find…

A Year of Art Society: The Best Picks
Artist Focus
107 views
Artist Focus
107 views

A Year of Art Society: The Best Picks

Alex Leissle - May 9, 2018

  [gallery type="slideshow" ids="35385,35386,35387,35388,35389,35390,35391,35392,35393,35394,35395,35396,35397,35398,35399,35400,35401,35402,35403,35404,35405,35406,35407,35408,35409,35410,35411"]

More Brit(ish) than ever: A review of Afua Hirsch at Brighton Festival
Books
88 views
Books
88 views

More Brit(ish) than ever: A review of Afua Hirsch at Brighton Festival

William Singh - May 9, 2018

Afua Hirsch’s 2018 book - part memoir, part polemic - provokes mixed feelings. So too did her discussion of the topic at this year’s Brighton Festival. Don’t…

Ethnic-bioweapons: between conspiracy and reality
Science
122 views
Science
122 views

Ethnic-bioweapons: between conspiracy and reality

Luke Richards - May 8, 2018

Bioweapons exist, while ethnic-bioweapons are whispered conspiracies. Pandemics can fairly hazardous to human life, the 1918 Flu Pandemic killed 20-50 million people. A man made pandemic could…

Breaking: Spring referenda results announced
News
176 views
News
176 views

Breaking: Spring referenda results announced

Jessica Hubbard - May 4, 2018

Students have voted to support the BDS (Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions) movement, reject Prevent and adopt new Gender Equality policies. Results for the Students' Union referenda were…

Why I’m Jewish AND I support BDS
Comment
168 views
Comment
168 views

Why I’m Jewish AND I support BDS

Sarah McIntosh - May 2, 2018

The idea of a land where my religious identity is welcomed and where I feel safe to be myself and live in peace is a beautiful idea…

Student research happening at Sussex
Features
145 views
Features
145 views

Student research happening at Sussex

Nikolaos Manesis - May 1, 2018

(Image source: Flickr, Pixabay, Wikipedia) Another academic year is coming to a close and with it, the last edition of The Badger. To celebrate our last science…

Sussex Festival cancelled
Campus News
210 views
Campus News
210 views

Sussex Festival cancelled

Jordan Wright - April 30, 2018

The Students’ Union have cancelled their highly anticipated end-of-term event Sussex Festival: Desert Island Disco, which was due to begin on Saturday May 12th. The Students’ Union…

Students’ Union President Gustafsson and Liberate the Debate respond to the cancelled event
Comment
229 views
Comment
229 views

Students’ Union President Gustafsson and Liberate the Debate respond to the cancelled event

Jordan Wright - April 27, 2018

These comment pieces represent the opinions of both the Students' Union and Liberate the Debate with regards to the  recent cancellation of the Society's freedom of speech…

Artist Focus: Rory Hinshelwood
Artist Focus
146 views
Artist Focus
146 views

Artist Focus: Rory Hinshelwood

Louisa Hunt - April 25, 2018

Rory Hinshelwood studies Zoology with Spanish at Sussex. His brand is called Poplar St., at the moment the brand sell embroidered high-quality t-shirts. Rory works mostly in graphics…

Artist Focus: Maayan Cohen
Artist Focus
105 views
Artist Focus
105 views

Artist Focus: Maayan Cohen

Emma Phillips - April 24, 2018

The Badger spoke with Sussex University’s Maayan Cohen about her creative workshop, ‘Bits and Pieces.’ Can you tell us a bit about Bits and Pieces- what’s the…

Voodoo enthralls at The Old Market – review
Arts
133 views
Arts
133 views

Voodoo enthralls at The Old Market – review

Ricardo Reverón Blanco - April 24, 2018

As part of South East Dance’s micro-festival, Undisciplined, Voodoo comes to being as a collaboration between South East Dance and Project O. Project O brings artists Alexandrina…

Arts
136 views

Trial & error: Sex, sass and foolishness through dance

Ricardo Reverón Blanco - April 24, 2018

For the concluding show of South East Dance’s micro-festival, Double Bill brings two short performances to The Old Market’s stage: Comebacks I thought of later by Eleanor…