Flats built for students are being let as hotel rooms, against planning conditions.
Rooms in the blocks of student accommodation on Manchester Road, Huddersfield, that have already been built are available to book on a website for £55 for one night’s stay.
It is described as ‘Huddersfield Studio Suites’ and a map shows it in the same location as the student flats.
The apartment blocks were granted planning permission by Kirklees Council, with a condition saying: “The accommodation hereby permitted shall be occupied by students only, defined as persons whose main residence is elsewhere and who are enrolled on recognised full-time courses at one of the higher educational establishments in the borough of Kirklees only and for no other purpose.”
The Examiner asked Kirklees what rates the property is liable for.
A spokesman said: “As these are classed as student apartments. There is no business rates liability, as each apartment is charged council tax.
“Each apartment is given a student exemption so no council tax is payable.”
Reviews left on Booking.com reveal a number of people booking to stay there were unaware it was student accommodation until they arrived.
It says on the website: “Huddersfield Studio Suites has been welcoming Booking.com guests since 21 Aug 2017.”
It adds that “children cannot be accommodated at the hotel.”
Planning consent for student flats was granted to KDP Architects in 2014.
In February, when the Examiner published a story about concerns about the block’s cladding, the management company said they were acting on behalf of the building’s owner, which was KDP.
The Examiner has asked the management company which manages the blocks to comment on the rooms being advertised as hotel accommodation.
They passed us on to a letting agent who said: “There is a short let system in place but the building is restricted to students so the short let guests are restricted to student use too (or workers at the university). All guests show ID on arrival or they are turned away.”
Earlier this year there were discussions between the teams which own and manage the building and Kirklees Council in relation to concerns about the cladding used in the wake of the Grenfell fire tragedy in London.
After Grenfell the government asked councils to carry out further checks on cladding on buildings in their area. A source told the Examiner the red cladding on the 10-storey blocks failed the post-Grenfell checks.
The concern is said to relate to the gap between the red cladding and wall of the block, almost like a sandwich panel with insulation between.