Government HMO proposals condemned by property experts

by Gary Whittaker

This article was brought to you by Rentman the premium rent management software.

A new government proposal to place restrictions houses of multiple occupation (HMOs) has met with scepticism from a number of leading property authorities.

Groups including the British Property Federation and the Residential Landlords Association have claimed that plans to change HMO planning regulations will punish those who rely on the affordable accommodation.

The suggestions are being considered in response to concerns of residents in areas with high numbers of HMOs that they are inviting a disproportionately large student population.

However, the proposed solutions have been criticised for risking the possible creation of ghettos, with students and poorer migrants being forced to live in large concentrations away from the central community.

Alan Ward, chairman of the Residential Landlords Association, also highlighted the potential downside for landlords, saying: "Planning permission can affect the marketability and value of property, forcing landlords to repay capital on their loans, or sell, resulting in loss of homes for tenants."

Last month, the London borough of Hounslow introduced stricter regulations on those letting HMOs, which require owners of properties over two storeys high and with more than four occupants to pass fit-and-proper-person tests before they can be licensed.

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11-August-09General Lettings News