Many British companies have their headquarters in Nottingham. Although the city is busy, it has comparatively little crime. Nottingham has an eviction rate more than one-and-a-half times the national average. It has been proposed that £243 million be invested in improving council homes in the city. The Inland Revenue announced that Nottingham was one area where new task forces would be investigating tax evasion by landlords. Properties to rent in Nottingham can be found through Needaproperty.
New Homes Nottingham is a local housing company with an ambitious target of of constructing 5,000 new homes within the next seven years. A quarter of these will be available to rent through Nottingham City homes, which manages 29,000 council homes throughout Nottingham.
Nottingham has moved away from traditional heavy industry and coal mining, leaving the area with an oversupply of terraced housing in poor condition. There is a more industrialised landscape to the west of the city, and house prices there are lower. Employment is now more centred on distribution and warehousing, which is facilitated by good rail and road links. There is a strong housing rental market for professionals and migrant workers. The latter gravitate towards low-skilled occupations such as assembly work, agricultural work and retail.
Anyone seeking rented accommodation in Nottingham can take solace from the fact that the city is cheap. Three London councils have been reported to be considering the relocation of homeless families to Nottingham and Derby, 200km away, because changes to the housing benefit system make it too costly to rent homes for them in London. It is possible that 150 properties will be purchased for needy London families, which might increase to 500.
The prices of flats and houses in Nottingham almost doubled between 1999 and 2004. Prices are higher in the towns of Chesterfield and Newark. According to the Land Registry, the average price of a house in England and Wales was £192,742 in 2006, compared to £150,502 in the East Midlands and £125,062 in Nottingham.
A report by the Audit Commission found that council house allocation in Nottingham had been abused. Employees of the housing service, their partners, relatives and friends had been given housing when they should not have been in 3,000 cases. Some tenants purchased their houses under the right-to-buy scheme. Since then, the system for allocating council houses has been overhauled and senior managers have been replaced.
For students, halls of residence are cheap, although rooms are small, the residence managers are strict, and fire alarms go off at inconvenient times such as 3am. Outside of halls, Beeston has a large student population. There have been three multi-million pound deals for offices which will be converted to student housing, which will benefit people other than students because unsightly buildings will be redeveloped and students will move away from residential areas. Students have protested against their being moved from shared houses to halls on the edge of town, and more than a thousand signed a petition.
Quality of life in Nottingham is improving. Nottingham City Homes found that, for the first time ever, all properties inspected were of at least “two star” standard, with three stars being the maximum. Only 36 percent of estates received two stars in 2007. Paths are clear of weeds, gardens are tidier, theres less graffiti and rubbish and streets are cleaner. 28 percent of estates were of three star standard, compared to 11 percent in 2007. The organisation also found that there was less crime and anti-social behaviour due to targeted drug operations and “smart watering,” where items are marked with a code which can only be read under a ultra-violet light. Homes that were burgled and whose contents were smart watered have only a 0.6 percent chance of being broken into again.