19:18 PM, 19th March 2011, About 11 years ago 2
Landlord lobbyists have launched an online toolkit to help property investors protest against councils proposing to take on extra powers to control shared homes.
The Residential Landlords Association has put together information about the 15 councils bidding to take on the extra powers so landlords can mount a concerted effort against the proposals.
The online toolkit includes details of where the councils intend to control shared house development plus template letters to local councillors.
The action is to fight councils taking on ‘article 4 directions’ that let them impose tighter controls on landlords opening new houses in multiple occupation (HMOs).
The direction concerns special powers that force landlords to apply for planning permission before they can rent a shared home.
Councils argue that too many shared houses in an area can bring problems like crowded parking, litter and noise and that tightly managing applications for new shared houses lets them create higher standards for tenants and their neighbours.
The RLA claims taking on article 4 powers is the wrong approach and will bring down property prices and restrict the availability of housing.
“Article 4 Directions affect small HMOs (houses in multiple occupation) with 3-6 people. Just the sort of houses or flats which can be used by families OR young people,” says the RLA web site.
“Shared houses and flats are popular with young people because they provide affordable housing. Young people are valuable to the local economy – they use the shops, pubs, takeaways and cafes and restaurants. Drive them away and the businesses will go too.”
Councils that have announced their intentions to take on article 4 powers include:
• Charnwood (Loughborough, Leicestershire)
• Milton Keynes
• Redbridge (Ilford, East London)
• Thanet (Margate, Kent)
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