Choosing somewhere to live as a student is no mean feat. With the advent of ensuite accommodation, the days of a manky shared house and rows over whose milk is whose in the fridge may be gone for many, but there are still hurdles that the student renter has to face, not least: is their hard-borrowed cash ending up helping offshore investors evade UK income tax?
Research by Lancaster City Councillor Tim Hamilton-Cox shows that a number of flats or houses rented out to Lancaster University students are owned or managed by offshore companies:
– 1-3 Cable Street (233 rooms) is part of Global Student Accommodation (GSA). GSA is ultimately incorporated in the Cayman Islands, and the Cable St property is owned by a Jersey company.
– The site of the Bulk Road student village (631 rooms, and nicknamed ‘Asthma Towers’ by one of our long-standing readers), currently under development by American company Hines, is owned by a Jersey-based company called HPH Lancaster Limited.
– A house in Dallas Rd is owned by a Seychelles-based company, and properties on Greaves Rd, Albion St and Prospect St are owned by a Jersey-based company.
This information has been provided to the students’ unions at Lancaster University and University of Cumbria, who will hopefully steer students away from paying rent to these companies in favour of landlords who aren’t avoiding UK taxation.