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House of Multiple Occupancy restrictions

New planning restrictions mean councils now have the ability to use Article 4 Directions to control HMO’s with the aim of combating anti-social behaviour, noise nuisance and rogue landlords.

This means that if three / four sharers wish to rent a four bedroom home that a family (single household) lived in previously, then the owner may need to apply for planning permission, which may not be granted from the local council.

A report by The Department of Work and Pensions has confirmed that the use of Article 4 is restricting the provision of affordable rental properties. Looking at the changes in Local Housing Allowance (LHA) and caps, especially for single people under 35, whose entitlement now means that sharing rental properties is a reality.

The reluctance of private landlords to enter into the HMO market with potential planning implications will have a detrimental effect on the supply of multiple occupancy homes on the rental market and appears to be at odds with the governments’ changing benefits policy.