Revealed – the councils taking on extra HMO powers

by Property118.com News Team

14:09 PM, 24th February 2011
About 8 years ago

Revealed – the councils taking on extra HMO powers

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Revealed – the councils taking on extra HMO powers

Student landlords looking to expand their portfolios need to move quickly in many towns and cities to avoid new rules that require shared houses to apply for planning permission.

Currently, a house in multiple occupation (HMO) investor can start letting to tenants without any licences or permissions, providing the house is less than three floors and is home to no more than four separate singles or couples.

Many councils are preparing to take on additional powers to tackle what they see as poor housing, antisocial behaviour and other problems from student lets and HMOs.

These powers include requiring property investors to apply for planning permission for every new shared house, regardless of the size or number of tenants.

Landlords will also have to licence these properties.

To gain these powers, a council has to launch a 12-month consultation period.

These councils have consultations underway or about to start:

  • Bath
  • Bournemouth
  • Brighton
  • Bristol
  • Canterbury
  • Denbighshire
  • Durham
  • Exeter
  • Hull
  • Leeds
  • Loughborough
  • Manchester
  • Milton Keynes
  • Newcastle-upon-Tyne
  • Northampton
  • Portsmouth
  • Preston
  • Redbridge
  • South Northamptonshire

Oxford has already taken on these extra powers under ‘article 4’ of the Town and Country Planning (General Permitted Development) Order 1995.

Four councils – Loughborough, Newcastle up on Tyne, Milton Keynes and Oxford are challenging HMO licensing rules through a judicial review in the High Court. The result is expected in March or April.

The Residential Landlords Association (RLA) is lobbying against councils taking on extra HMO powers citing they will choke rental property supply, lead to higher rents and falling house values in areas subject to the controls.

“Instead of using planning powers to impose this kind of restriction, the RLA strongly believes that where there are concerns about the behaviour of tenants in HMOs, the local authority should work with tenants, student unions, landlords and the police to better educate tenants on their responsibilities to the community,” said RLA chairman Alan Ward.



Comments

Richard Greenland Richard

22:50 PM, 24th February 2011
About 8 years ago

Could you explain what this means Mark? Are they challenging their rights/ obligations to require licensing?

Four councils – Loughborough, Newcastle up on Tyne, Milton Keynes and Oxford are challenging HMO licensing rules through a judicial review in the High Court. The result is expected in March or April.

Mark Alexander

22:57 PM, 24th February 2011
About 8 years ago

My take on this Rich (laymans opinion) is that some Councils don't like the fact that Central Gov't has passed the buck to them.

rav singh

17:45 PM, 4th March 2011
About 8 years ago

Hi, with these new planning rules coming in my main concern is whether the council are able to refuse you from having a HMO?? I mean if a landlord is prepared to do all that is necessary ie fire doors, hard wired smokes, emergency lighting, twist locks etc etc can they still say no??

Mark Alexander

19:07 PM, 4th March 2011
About 8 years ago

Hi Rav

That's exactly why so many landlords are protesting, they can indeed say no.

Regards

Mark

0:35 AM, 5th March 2011
About 8 years ago

This is social engineering at its worst! The ordinary homeowners dont appear to realise their properties could be massively devalued overnight and they may end up with negative equity.

The problem is student behaviour and this should be tackled as suggested rather than moving the rental properties into another area that does not need planning permission.

You should look at how your Council has consulted on this as they could have not done it fully with all affected parties and you can then lodge a complaint with the Ombudsman and the powers could be revoked and they then have to start again!!


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