Bath ready to limit HMOs to 1 in 4 homes

Landlords looking to rent out shared houses to students and young professionals in Bath face strict planning controls limiting their properties to areas where less than 1 in 4 homes are already houses in multiple occupation (HMOs).

More details about the scheme will be released at a public meeting of Bath & North East Somerset Council’s Cabinet on October 10.

The council has hinted that strong public support in neighbourhoods with high numbers of HMO spurred the decision.

Bath is a university city with a large student population, which the council claims, leads to complaints about excessive noise, rubbish dumping and parking problems in several neighbourhoods.

The council wants to make landlords apply for planning permission before opening new HMOs with between three and five tenants if the home is in a neighbourhood where 25% or more of the housing stock are already HMOs.

If the new shared house is in an area with a less than 25% density of HMOs, permission will be granted subject to other planning considerations.

The council intends to map HMO locations from licensing records – and to update the map every six months.

The proposals cover Oldfield Park, Westmoreland and Widcombe Wards districts and smaller areas in Lower Weston and London Road.

Councillor Tim Ball (Lib-Dem, Twerton), Cabinet Member for Homes and Planning, said, “The issue of HMOs is clearly one that local people feel strongly about judging by the results of the recent consultation.

“The council must act to ensure that there is a fair mix of larger family homes and HMOs and the cabinet will be considering how the local planning rules should reflect this. We must make clear that whilst HMOs are an important part of local housing supply, it is the concentration of them in certain neighbourhoods that is the concern.

“Whatever is decided, we will be urging people to have their say through the next round of consultation.”

If the cabinet approves the HMO proposals,  the new approach will be launched for public consultation on October 18, with a planned introduction from July 1,  2013.

About Editor

Feel free to send comments or requests for content to the Landlord Syndicate editorial team

No comments yet.

Leave a Reply