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Northern town to clamp down on landlords converting homes to HMOs

hmo conversions burnley houses

Burnley Council has launched plans to clamp down on landlords converting homes into small HMOs.

A proposed Article 4 Direction would cover those wards which already have the highest number of HMOs in the borough: Bank Hall, Brunshaw, Daneshouse with Stoneyholme, Gannow, Gawthorpe, Queensgate, Rosehill with Burnley Wood, Rosegrove with Lowerhouse and Trinity.

Burnley says its selective licensing scheme can’t address the issue of over-concentrations of HMOs while it recognises that particularly high rental yields of more than 7% make the town an attractive investment opportunity for property developers.

A council report explains: “Property investors will be aware that the borough is in close proximity to Manchester with good transport links and does not have an Article 4 Direction in place. Inappropriate concentrations of HMOs could therefore increase unless small HMOs are brought under planning control.”

Small bedrooms

It adds: “Given the borough’s high level of smaller back-of-pavement terraced housing with limited amenity and no garden space, particularly within certain areas, use of such housing as HMOs could mean that adults and children are living in small bedrooms and sharing a bathroom and small kitchen with very limited and poor-quality outdoor amenity space.”

A six-week consultation ends on 24th November and comments will be taken to the council’s executive in the spring. If approved, an Article 4 Direction would take effect in October 2024.

Councillor John Harbour, executive member for housing and leisure, says: “We want to hear all views to help us take an informed decision. The proposal to remove permitted development rights won’t prevent HMOs being created but it will give the council more control over how many there are and where.”

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