New plans to help control the numbers of residential properties turned into houses of multiple occupation (HMOs) in parts of Coventry, are moving a step closer.

A report will be put before Cabinet on 30 August outlining the Council’s intentions to hold a public consultation to get feedback on changes to rules which would prevent landlords and property developers from turning some residential homes into HMOs without full planning permission.

The proposal, called an Article 4 Direction, would place restrictions on residential property conversions in 11 out of 18 wards, wards that already have the highest concentration of HMOs.

The restrictions are designed to ensure that all new HMO conversions would need full planning approval if an Article 4 is implemented.

In doing so, the legislation prevents any unnecessary and avoidable displacement of families searching for properties and provides opportunities for those looking to get onto 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, Councillor David Welsh, said:

“We want to manage the development of HMOs across Coventry and especially in areas of the city where we need to have the ability to control their numbers.

“Housing developments must meet housing need in the city. We need good quality affordable homes for families, we believe this will help improve neighbourhoods.”

Deputy Cabinet Member for City Services, Councillor Gavin Lloyd is highlighting the impact that limiting HMOs will have to the residents of Coventry. He said:

“By implementing an Article 4 direction, we’re providing an opportunity for families to place their roots down here in the city and make the most out of the exciting job opportunities that we have here. It also provides an opportunity for first-time homeowners to get onto the property ladder.

“Whilst HMOs are an integral part of the community, as they provide housing to students and young professionals who house share, by controlling the number of them throughout the city – and particularly those in the most saturated areas – we’re supporting residents and accommodating the housing needs of the many, not the few.

“I hope people support the Article 4 Direction because in this area it causes displacement and breaks up communities. It also has an impact on managing streets services like disposing rubbish and other environmental issues.”

Published: Tuesday, 16th August 2022