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

We've found that the distribution of HMOs needs to be controlled to ensure communities do not become imbalanced with this type of housing.

The Article 4 Direction in relation to Houses in Multiple Occupation means that planning permission is needed for 'change of use' for houses within the main urban area of York if they change 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 'Supplementary Planning Document' (SPD) provides guidance on how planning applications for this type of development will be determined. The SPD is a 'material consideration' when determining HMO planning applications - further Information can be found in our frequently asked questions.

Properties which contain 5 or more people may also require a HMO Licence.

Background to HMO Supplementary Planning Document (SPD)

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 (SPD) 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 in a particular an area.

As part of the background work to creating the SPD maps showing city-wide consentrations of HMO's and areas where over 10% of residential properties are HMOs are updated each year to provide a guide to where current high concentrations of HMO exist.

More detailed work identifying neighbourhood areas and to undertake street level assessments is carried out when we deal with planning applications for new HMOs.

Further information

Further information is available on Supplementary Planning Documents and on the regulations which landlords of Houses in Multiple Occupation should follow.

Get details of our pre-application advice service which provides answers to common building and development enquiries, and guidance on fees.

Also see

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