Bath and North East Somerset Council is the latest local authority to clampdown on HMOs within its private rented housing market.

This follows similar moves by a raft of other councils this year particularly on HMO density, a problem that Bath and North East Somerset says it wants to tackle. There is also a Bill going through parliament that will give local councils like Bath greater powers to regulate this type of rented property.

The council is to consider a report to be published tomorrow that will reveal the detail of its plans.

It is expected that these will include bringing new-build properties into its existing HMO policy, as well as including family homes that are converted into multi-occupancy rented units.

The council also intends to tighten up policy for landlords seeking to upgrade HMOs from small to larger units, create new parking standards for HMOs and look at further regulating student HMOs and other types of university accommodation.

These proposed changes are being spearheaded by local Liberal Democrats who have a majority on the council. The party says it is reacting to resident concerns about the rapid spread of HMOs particularly within Bath.

“HMOs are important in the provision of affordable housing for younger people, but we also need to ensure a mixture of housing types in the city,” says Councillor Alison Born (pictured).

“I’ve heard numerous examples of families who have not been able to find homes to buy or rent in Bath, due to the number of HMO properties.

“A better mix could also help protect community assets, such as schools, because the conversion of family homes to HMOs drives down demand for school places.”

If approved, the plans will go forward to a six-week public consultation.


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