- Latest News: Revised Houses in Multiple Occupation SPD Consultation (4th September to 13th October 2017)
- The planning policy for Houses in Multiple Occupation
- Planning Permission and Licensing
- HMO Policy Background
Last updated: 1st September 2017
The Council adopted the Houses in Multiple Occupation (HMO) Supplementary Planning Document (SPD) in July 2013. The aim of the SPD is to avoid high concentrations of HMOs in the interests of an appropriately balanced housing mix across the city. The Article 4 Direction withdraws the Permitted Development Right for the change of use from family homes (Use Class C3) to Houses in Multiple Occupation (Use Classes C4 and Sui Generis) across the City of Bath. The SPD sets out criteria for assessing planning applications now required by the Article 4 Direction.
Following a review of the performance of the original SPD including the evidence update and targeted engagement, revisions to the SPD are proposed:
- Revised Houses in Multiple Occupation Supplementary Planning Document
- Frequently Asked Questions
- Equalities Impact Assessment of the Draft HMO SPD
- Draft Strategic Environmental Assessment Screening Report of the Draft HMO SPD
We are particularly interested in hearing your views on the following questions:
- Do you agree with the general approach of the SPD to manage the concentration of HMOs in parts in Bath?
- Do you agree with the Sandwich Policy proposed in the draft SPD?
- Do you agree with lowering the HMO threshold to 10% from 25%?
You can make comments online via the Council's consultation website here.
Alternatively you can email them to HMO_SPD@BathNES.gov.uk or post them to Planning Policy, Bath and North East Somerset Council, Lewis House, Manvers Street, Bath BA1 1JG.
Comments should be submitted by 5pm 13th October 2017.
The Council appointed ARUP to undertake a review of the existing HMO SPD to investigate various policy options. The full ARUP report, HMO SPD Review & Options Analysis (16MB), is available via this link.
The Houses in Multiple Occupation in Bath Supplementary Planning Document (SPD) sets out Bath & North East Somerset Council’s approach to the distribution and dispersal of Houses in Multiple Occupation (HMOs). This followed the Council’s implementation of an Article 4 Direction in relation to Houses of Multiple Occupation in the City of Bath .
There are more than 3,000 known HMOs in the district, most of which are in Bath. The SPD is aimed at facilitating a sustainable community in Bath by encouraging a wide variety of households in all areas . It also seeks to improve the standard, safety and management of HMOs across the district.
A House in Multiple Occupation (HMO) is defined by the Housing Act 2004 as:
- A house or flat which is let to 3 or more unrelated tenants who share a kitchen, bathroom, or toilets. For example, properties let to students or bedsits; or
- A building which is converted into non self-contained flats; or
- A building which is converted entirely into self-contained flats and the conversion does not meet the standards of the 1991 Building Regulations and more than one-third of the flats are let on short-term tenancies.
The HMO SPD contains a guide to help determine if a house is defined as an HMO .
Houses of Multiple Occupation may require planning permission. A 2 stage assessment process is used to help determine if permission is likely to be granted for changing the use of a property to an HMO. Planning permission is likely to be refused in neighbourhoods with over 25% of the existing housing stock in use as HMOs :
- The 2 stage assessment
- Map showing which areas have 25% of the existing housing stock in use as HMOs
- Further information on HMOs and Planning Permission is available here
- You can apply for planning permission via this link .
Some HMOs with shared facilities must also be licensed, this is to ensure that ensure minimum standards of safety, welfare and management are maintained. Landlords and managers of HMOs across Bath and North East Somerset may need to apply for a mandatory license, whilst those in Bath may also need to apply for an additional license:
- Information on Mandatory Licenses (District-wide) and Additional Licenses (City of Bath only)
- Advice for Landlords and Tenants on HMO licensing and safety
- Apply for an HMO Licence online .
- Further information on licensing is available on the Housing Services webpages, who have produced the following video guide.
The following links provide more information on the production of the Houses in Multiple Occupation in Bath SPD:
- A 2011 study (43MB) that considered the options open to the Council to regulating and controlling the future growth of HMOs within the City of Bath . This outlined the options open to the Council to exert greater control over HMOs in the city, including planning controls and housing licencing.
- A set of frequently asked questions (FAQs) issued during the production of the SPD
- Details of the Cabinet Meeting on 12th June 2013 that decided to adopted the HMO SPD
- The webcast of the Cabinet debate on 12th June 2013
- The Article 4 Direction for the City of Bath in relation to Houses in Multiple Application
- The Adoption Statement for the Houses in Bath SPD