Coventry looks to introduce Article 4 Direction

Consultation has begun over plans to force landlords to seek full planning permission for turning homes into Houses in Multiple Occupation (HMOs).

Coventry City Council said the proposal would place restrictions on residential property conversions in 11 out of 18 wards, which “already have the highest concentration of HMOs“.

It could help those looking to get on the property ladder, the council said.

The public consultation exercise goes on until 15 November.

People can have their say online or visit venues to talk to planning officers, starting on Tuesday with Hillfields Library from 10:00 to 12:00 BST and Stoke Library from 13:00 to 15:00 BST.

HMOs are occupied by people who do not form a single household and can include bedsits, hostels, shared houses and houses converted into multiple self-contained flats.

Opponents claim they damage communities, but others say they serve an urgent housing need.

The consultation seeks feedback over changes to rules that would affect landlords and property developers.

The proposals involve measures called Article 4 Direction under which restrictions ensure all new HMO conversions need full planning approval, if an Article 4 is implemented.

The legislation “prevents any unnecessary and avoidable displacement of families searching for properties“, the council says.

It adds the legislation also provides opportunities for “those looking to get on to the property ladder by limiting the number of HMOs in certain wards, and ensuring that they are not located so closely together”.

Cabinet member for housing and communities David Welsh said: “HMOS do serve a purpose but we also need good quality affordable homes for families.

“We believe this will help improve neighbourhoods.”

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