Tuesday, 30 April 2019 17:21

The HMO Conundrum

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The HMO Conundrum

You may have seen the articles in The News this month summarising the dismay (and often unfounded and ill-advised ranting) of those on the Portsmouth Planning committee as HMO’s have been allowed on appeal after the Planning Committee went against the advice of planning officers employed by the council and rejected applications for HMO developments that met all of Portsmouth’s very stringent local rules….

 

This is not a party political thing – planning committee members of all colours talked about ’12 people to one toilet’ and ‘dozens of additional cars in the street’ and other equally unlikely outcomes, which may be good sound bites but do nothing to allay concerns of local residents and actually fuel the fears the councillors hear on the doorstep when talking to local residents. What we need is evidence based analysis and sensible policies based on that evidence.

We would welcome a sensible discussion on the topic and publicly invite any or all of the committee members (and any other interested councillors) to come and have a look around any of these large HMO’s – in a city that is desperately short of affordable accommodation, HMO’s are the only option for many and as the rules continually tighten and the standards bar is continually raised, the cost of providing this accommodation increases and as a result, so do rents – pricing out those most in need of housing and pushing up house prices and rents across the city.

We understand that council officers have been asked to review the current HMO Strategic Planning Document (SPD - the document which defines the city’s strategy and rules for HMO’s) with a view to making it even harder to create or enlarge an HMO – as an Association we hope that our input will be taken onboard at the appropriate stage and that any new recommendations are sensible and help meet the needs of the whole community.

The News coverage can be seen here:

https://www.portsmouth.co.uk/news/politics/landlord-s-fury-after-spending-120-000-on-upgrading-student-home-as-councillors-defer-planning-decision-1-8901093

And also an item on the proposed withdrawal of the right to regain your property using 'Section 21' legislation:  https://www.portsmouth.co.uk/news/politics/change-in-tenancy-law-splits-opinion-among-portsmouth-landlords-and-council-chief-1-8891625 

 

End Notes

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