Disgruntled St Andrews students are turning to their democratic right to vote on the “battlefield” of HMO quotas.
More than 1,600 have already signed up to be able to vote as residents of the town amid claims they have been ignored by local politicians.
They have the backing of St Andrews University, with a spokesman saying it stands “four-square” behind the student community.
The students have registered to vote in local and national elections after councillors on the north east Fife area committee voted to impose strict quotas on the number of houses of multiple occupancy in the town.
Fife Council can give HMO licences in order to allow three or more people who are not related to rent a private property together.
Student leaders believe the views of students have been ignored by politicians and have set up a petition to encourage students to register to vote in elections and remove the HMO ban.
There is speculation this could lead to single issue student candidates being fielded in elections.
The university is also investigating ways to allow students to register to vote automatically when they matriculate.
Student Association President Lewis Wood, said: “Sentiment amongst community councillors and various other members of the community make this issue feel like a battleground, with students on one side and locals on the other.
“I refuse to accept any such lines. When students choose to relocate to St Andrews, they invest in a future here, whether this is for five years or for 20.
“It may be that a large amount of students have a short term residence here, but residents they are, and in there time here they truly do see themselves as part of the community.”
Lewis moved there four years ago, and has not left for more than three weeks at a time since, saying it “truly is my home”.
He feels he contributes as much to the town as it had to him, and that was the case among a great number of his peers.
A spokesman for the university said: “The university stands four-square with our students.
“They have not only been treated shamefully by some individual councillors, but appear to have been denied the right to speak at the Fife Council committee, while other local residents were invited to be heard.
“What sort of model of democracy is that?
“The council has taken a decision while ignoring the views of half of the people who live in St Andrews.
“By any standards, that is bad government. Students have been residents of St Andrews for over six centuries and are integral to the town’s prosperity and the fabric of this community.
“It is time for a new model of representation which ensures elected representatives are accountable to all who live in and contribute to the town, not just a vocal minority.
“The university will enthusiastically support the campaign for voter registration and we are currently investigating ways to allow students to register to vote automatically when they matriculate.”