Dudley is the latest council to be take up powers to limit the number of HMOs within its boundaries, claiming that they ‘linked with increased crime levels’.

At an internal meeting this week councillors heard from both local police and its own Anti-Social Behaviour team that HMOs in Dudley were linked to anti-social behaviour, noise, inadequate living conditions, litter, parking issues and increased drug use.

They were also told of concerns that high concentrations of HMOs in certain areas are harming their character, putting pressure on infrastructure and diminishing community relations.

This was accepted by the committee meeting, even though several councillors pointed out that HMOs are one of the few viable housing options in the area for those on low incomes.

Nevertheless, the council will now seek Article 4 powers following a six-week consultation period which, assuming it is successful, will mean anyone trying to turn a home into an HMO for up to six people would need to get planning permission from the council.

But the local paper reveals that the powers would not be taken up for at least 12 months to give ‘developers and landowners notice and avoid the risk of them claiming compensation from the council’.

Dudley Borough Council says the town, which is famous for its zoo and for being the birthplace of Lenny Henry, contains some 2,208 HMOs of which approximately 10% are licenced under mandatory rules because they contain five or more tenants.

Poorly managed

aston hmos dudley

Labour councillor Adam Aston (pictured), who has proposed the Article 4 direction policy, says: “HMOs aren’t bad, but poorly located and poorly managed HMOs are bad.

“We have seen communities across Dudley suffer from the effects of large numbers of people living within small or inappropriate properties.

“My proposal will see the council’s Development Control Committee once again have the power to scrutinise and potentially refuse requests to change the use of a property.”

Read more about licensing.

5 COMMENTS

  1. I have HMOs and my tenants are single men. If a single man can’t get accommodation he needs to find somewhere and the easiest place if he can’t get a room in a hmo is with a single mum. Get her pregnant and you’ve got a roof over your head. Doesn’t work out? On the dole? No problem. Move on to the next single mum. I’ve been running single rooms for over 25 years and I’ve heard it all.

  2. About time, I saw a 5 bed HMO snatch an old ladies handbag the other day, I tried chasing after it but could not keep up, I am sure it would have been bricking it if I had caught up…

    Hmm, most crime is committed by young poor men, a high proportion of people in HMO’s are young poor men, clearly if you get rid of HMO’s then it will lower crime… Hey while we are at it a disproportionate amount of crime is caused by ex-inmates, lets get rid of prisons to solve the issue..

    • Not sure if your comment intended irony but yes with the crimes of certain criminal and pervert MPs, especially the current PM and certain Royals, let’s close both those degraded institutions and replace with something with much higher moral standards.

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