Planning permission now needed to change houses to multiple occupancy in LB Hounslow

Image above: Victorian-era houses are often turned into multiple occupancy tenancies

More thorough checks on landlords

Hounslow Council has introduced new measures for landlords who want to convert family homes into houses with multiple occupancy (known as HMOs) for three to six tenants. They will now have to obtain planning permission from the Council.

This new measure, the Article 4 Direction, aims to address the increasing concerns among residents about the negative impact of houses with multiple occupancy in local communities. Many community groups and residents’ associations have highlighted how HMOs in their area have blighted their streets with an increased level of anti-social behaviour, fly-tipping and noise.

This new measure is part of wider policy that ensures HMOs contribute positively to local neighbourhoods. The HMO Licensing Policy, which was approved at Cabinet in October 2021, includes more thorough checks on landlords who have HMOs.

Due to legal requirements, the new measures will come into effect in a year’s time. A statutory consultation period will take place from Friday 15 July to 9 September.

HMOs having ‘detrimental impact’ on the local community

Councillor Tom Bruce, Cabinet Member for Regeneration and Development, said:

“I would like to stress that for many residents in our borough HMOs is an affordable housing option, which is low-cost and flexible.

“However, is it clear that many HMOs are having detrimental impact on the local community and this new measure will ensure thorough oversight – protecting both the tenants in HMOs and the communities that surround them.

“Every resident in the borough deserves to live in a safe and pleasant community and this new measure will contribute to making this a reality for countless residents.”

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