More councils take on selective licensing for HMOsMake Text Bigger
Two more councils have joined the queue to crackdown on property investors letting shared houses.
Preston and York are both ready to announce ‘article 4’ selective licensing for houses in multiple occupation (HMOs).
Councillors in Preston are considering the move that will mean landlords investing in new HMOs will have to gain planning permission before they can start letting rooms.
A council revealed that in neighbourhoods with about 14,000 homes, 1,350 are HMOs – with students sharing 840.
The report urges Preston Council should impose selective licensing for HMOs to control parking, noise and disturbances on the streets.
Meanwhile, an entire estate is lobbying York City Council to take on selective licensing after years of misery allegedly caused by rowdy students.
98% of residents opt for student house crackdown
A staggering 98% of people living in the Badger Hall neighbourhood want the council to act to stop more shared homes for students.
The Badger Hall Residents Association polled the area and found:
- 66% had moans about parking
- 59% felt poorly maintained investment properties were hauling down prices in the area
- 60% had contacted the police, university or council with concerns about antisocial behavior from students
- 81% wanted to move or knew someone that had moved away due to poor student behavior.
The city council is expected to propose a 12-month consultation before imposing article 4 planning restrictions on the badger Hall estate, which is close to the University of York campus.
Other councils imposing selective licensing for HMOs include Milton Keynes, Oxford, Manchester, Newcastle-upon-Tyne, Swansea and Exeter.
What is selective licensing for HMOs?
The Housing Act 2004 provided councils with the power to introduce licensing of privately rented properties in designated – or ‘selected’ areas. This aim is to improve housing standards conditions for tenants and their neighbours.
To introduce selective licensing, a council has to demonstrate one of the following criteria within the designated area:
- That the area is, or is likely to become, an area of low housing demand and that making the designation will, when combined with other measures taken in the area by the council, contribute to the improvement of the social or economic conditions in the area
- That the area is experiencing a significant and persistent antisocial behaviour problems and some or all of the private sector landlords in the area are failing to take appropriate action to combat the problem and that making the designation will, when combined with other measures taken by the local authority, lead to a reduction in or elimination of the problem.
Selective licensing lets councils introduce planning controls for new shared houses and all landlords must have a licence to rent out their property or they commit a criminal offence.
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