Landlords in one of London's biggest boroughs now need planning permission to convert family homes into HMOs for three to six tenants.
After a year-long pilot and consultation with residents, the London Borough of Hounslow (main picture) has made its borough-wide Article 4 Direction permanent which the council says will address residents' increasing concerns about the negative impact of HMOs in local communities. The direction will work alongside the council's additional licensing scheme.
Hounslow says many community groups and residents' association have highlighted how HMOs have been blighted by an increased level of anti-social behaviour, fly-tipping and noise.
A report explains: 'Overall, the evidence indicated that the level of HMO conversions had reached the point where it was".causing detrimental impact on local amenity and wellbeing".
It adds that the Article 4 Direction does not mean it won't be possible to carry out conversions of family houses to small HMOs.
'However, it will enable the council to manage the impact of these conversions," the report says.
The authority promises to monitor the direction to ensure it is achieving its objectives.
'The framework will be regularly reviewed to assess the effectiveness of the approach and whether any further update to the policy and SPD framework is required. The outcomes of the direction on any specific groups, including the housing outcomes, will also be monitored through the HMO licensing regime.'�
Councillor Tom Bruce (pictured), cabinet member for regeneration and development, says: 'It is clear that many HMOs are having detrimental impact on the local community and this measure becoming permanent will ensure thorough oversight '� protecting both the tenants in HMOs and the communities that surround them.'�
He adds: 'I would encourage residents to get in touch if they have a planning enforcement query related to an HMO.'�