New powers to help planning authorities manage impact of HMOs comes into force
New legislation that will give planning authorities the opportunity to manage the impact of Houses in Multiple Occupation (HMOs) in their local area comes into force this week.
On a visit to Cathays in Cardiff, Natural Resources Minister Carl Sargeant said the aim is to allow local planning authorities to require planning consent for new HMOs and to consider the effects such dwellings might have on local areas before deciding whether to approve planning permission or refuse it.
The new legislation will introduce a new use class (C4) for HMOs occupied by not more than six residents. This will mean that anyone wanting to create a new HMO for between three and six unrelated individuals who share basic amenities such as a kitchen or bathroom would have to apply for planning permission.
The legislation has been developed following recommendations made in an independent report into the effect HMOs can have on communities. The report found a clear need to take action to ensure the continued confidence of residents in areas with large numbers of HMOs, while also protecting the rights of those people residing in them.
The report also recognised that HMOs can provide a source of accommodation for people in specific circumstances and the intention of the changes is ensure better control of such households.
Natural Resources Minister, Carl Sargeant said:
“HMOs make an important contribution to the private rented sector by catering for the housing needs of certain groups and provide accommodation for individuals who cannot afford to purchase properties or rent larger accommodation.
“However, as our independent report found, large concentrations of HMOs can bring their own problems to local areas. This new legislation will allow planning authorities to take action to manage the number of HMOs in their local area.
“I hope this legislation will be welcomed by those local communities affected by high concentrations of HMOs across Wales and by local authorities.”
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