Consultation launched on stricter HMO rules

Published: 2 April 2024

Terrace houses on Derby street

Tenants and other residents have a chance to say how shared properties in their area affect them.

Derby City Council has launched a nine-week public consultation on proposals to tighten the planning rules around converting shared properties.

Earlier this year, Cabinet approved a proposal to apply to Government for more powers to regulate HMOs (Houses in Multiple Occupation). This followed an investigation in city wards where there are a lot of shared properties.

The study found that some residents are concerned that too many HMOs in one area creates problems, such as a lack of parking, anti-social behaviour, fly-tipping, as well as the deterioration of buildings. The findings and other documents are available to read on the Council’s consultation portal, Let’s Talk Derby.

The consultation starts on Tuesday 2 April and will run until Friday 31 May. It will give tenants and other residents a chance to have their say on how HMOs in their area affect them.

Currently anyone who wants to convert a house into accommodation for seven or more people needs planning permission, but this isn’t the case where the house will have fewer residents. Conversion to a small HMO is considered permitted development under national Government planning legislation.

To change this, the Council needs to apply to the Government for an Article 4 Direction under the Town and Country Planning Act 1990.  This can only be granted if the Secretary of State is satisfied that there is robust evidence that smaller HMOs are causing harm, in planning terms, to the local area.

The proposals would apply to a large part of central Derby, including the whole of Arboretum ward and parts of Abbey, Alvaston North, Darley, Mackworth and New Zealand, Normanton, Sinfin and Osmaston within the Ring Road.

If granted, the Article 4 direction would give the Council greater powers to control the number of HMOs within those areas and impose conditions to limit noise or provide adequate parking space or bin storage.

Councillor Shiraz Khan, Cabinet Member for Housing, Property and Regulatory Services, said:

Shared housing can be a valuable option for many, but only if it's well-maintained. A concentration of these properties in one area can create problems like noise, parking strain, and pressure on local services.

Our goal is to foster thriving communities where HMO tenants have access to safe and well-maintained housing.

I strongly encourage the residents and tenants to engage with us and have their say on shared properties and how they impact our communities.

To have your say on Houses of Multiple Occupation, visit Let’s Talk Derby by 31 May 2024.

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