HMOs

 

We are aware that people need to have access to a range of accommodation choices and support high-quality HMOs operated by responsible and caring landlords. However, some do not meet those standards and in addition an over-concentration of HMO in an area can have detrimental effect on the local community. Anything that empowers us to demand better for residents is hugely beneficial to our community.

 

What impact does having too many HMO have on an area? 

An over-concentration of HMOs can lead to a number of problems which impact negatively on the whole community.  We have listened to the community and observed the following trends which we are promising to tackle:

    • reduced levels of social cohesion 
    • imbalanced and unsustainable communities 
    • an increase in anti-social behaviour and crime 
    • negative impacts on the physical environment of the local area (such as a build-up of litter/rubbish and fly-tipping; poorly maintained properties; large numbers of letting signs) 
    • pressure on parking provision
    • loss of family homes and consequent impact on community provision such as schools
    • further information available from the National Archives http://bit.ly/2u5SDPX

What will we do?

The Liberal Democrats have a proven track record of tackling too many HMO in an area – see our work in Portsmouth http://bit.ly/2IHSipJ
 
Currently there are planning restrictions in place in parts Edgbaston, Harborne and Selly Oak – and we believe Ladywood should get the same protection!
 
In Ladywood, we will campaign to introduce restrictions that stop family houses being converted to HMO where there are already too many.

 

How will we do this?
Conversion of C3 family housing to HMOs will not be permitted in Ladywood ward where there is already an over concentration of HMO accommodation (C4 or Sui Generis) or where it would result in an over concentration. An over-concentration would occur when 10% or more of the houses, within a 100m radius of the application site, would not be in use as a single family dwelling (C3 use).
Liberal Democrats in the City Council will resist those schemes that breach this on the basis that it would lead to an over-concentration of such uses. The more Liberal Democrat Councillors there are, the greater the power we will have to resist such schemes in support of resident’s requests.

Also, we will actively promote and campaign for the following additional changes:

  • Planning officers will be encouraged and empowered to consult with residents to identify any unlisted HMOs, so that the rules can be applied more accurately
  • Automatic refusal of planning permission to add extra rooms and tenants to existing HMOs where there are already 10% or more of properties in non C3 use within a 100m radius of the proposed development
  • HMO planning permission will not be granted where it would result in any residential property (C3 use) being ‘sandwiched’ between two HMOs or where it would result in three adjacent HMOs
  • To use of Lower Level Super Output Areas based on LSOA 064B 

 

Definitions

  • HMO – House in Multiple Occupation
  • C3 use – between 1 and 6 people living as a single household
  • C4 – small shared houses occupied by between three and six unrelated individuals, as their only or main residence, who share basic amenities such as a kitchen or bathroom.
  • Sui Generis – Latin for “of it’s own kind”; used for when a development does not fit into any other class
  • LSOA – A geographical area, Lower Layer Super Output Areas, that may typically have a population up to around 1500