Planning authorities get new powers to manage impact of HMOs

New legislation that will give planning authorities the opportunity to manage the impact of Houses in Multiple Occupation (HMOs) in their local area has been made by Natural Resources Minister Carl Sargeant.

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. This will allow planning authorities to identify HMOs and consider the impact those dwellings may have on the local area before deciding whether to approve the planning application.

The legislation, which is due to come into force on 25 February, 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.

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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Team @ AberdareOnline

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