New legislation giving planning authorities the opportunity to manage the impact of Houses in Multiple Occupation (HMOs) has been made by Welsh Labour’s 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.