Controlling the concentration of Houses in Multiple Occupation

A House in Multiple Occupation (HMO) is a house that contains 3 or more unrelated occupants who share basic amenities.

We have found that the distribution and impact of houses in multiple occupation needs to be controlled to ensure that communities do not become imbalanced.

The Article 4 Direction requires that planning permission is required for 'change of use' of houses within the main urban area from 'a Dwelling House' (Use Class C3) to a 'House in Multiple Occupation' (Use Class C4). The Controlling the Concentration of Houses in Multiple Occupation Draft SPD provides guidance on how planning applications for this type of development will be determined.

The Supplementary Planning Document (SPD) is a 'material consideration' when determining HMO planning applications.

You can get further information by reading our frequently asked questions or by contacting the Planning and Environmental Management team.

Background to HMOs in York

HMOs represent a significant and growing proportion of the mix of housing in York. They make an important contribution to York's housing offer, providing flexible and affordable accommodation for students and young professionals, alongside low-income households who may be economically inactive or working in low-paid jobs.

The purpose of the HMO Supplementary Planning Document is to continue to provide HMO accommodation to meet the city's housing needs but to manage the supply of new HMOs to avoid high concentrations of this use in one area.

As part of the background work to creating the SPD, maps showing city-wide concentrations of HMOs and areas where over 10% of residential properties are HMOs are updated each year. However, it should be noted that these maps are for information only, as a guide to where current high concentrations of HMOs exist. Further detailed work to identify neighbourhood areas and undertake street level assessments will be carried out when dealing with planning applications for new HMOs.

Our pre-application advice service provides answers to common enquiries, and guidance on fees.

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