On Tuesday 21st November, a decision was made at the council to introduce new guidelines and regulations in relation to Homes of Multiple Occupation (HMOs) in the city.
This will mean:
- It will now be considered an automatic refusal of planning permission to add extra rooms and tenants to existing HMOs in areas which already have more than the 10% limit of HMOs.
- There will now be much clearer guidelines to assist the Planning Committee to press for any HMOs in areas below the 10% threshold, to meet higher standards of accommodation for future tenants.
- It will be easier for us to argue against over-intensification of individual properties, where it is proposed that small houses have lots of extra rooms added.
- We will be actively empowered to consult with residents to identify any unlisted HMOs, so that the rules can be applied more accurately.
We are very 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 did not meet those standards and anything that empowers us to demand better for residents is hugely beneficial to our community.
As well as the changes outlined above, a further 6 week consultation will now take place in relation to the issue of 'sandwiching' (whereby a new HMO would mean a normal family home being in between two HMOs) and 'three in a row' (whereby an additional HM) would mean three high density homes in a row).
To read more, the papers that were available at the decision meeting can be found at http://democracy.portsmouth.gov.uk/ieListDocuments.aspx?CId=158&MId=3885.