Student housing is often a very lucrative venture for landlords and many university towns and cities have a high density of shared housing close to campuses. But although student HMOs can be a money-spinner, some local authorities are trying to limit
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the number of shared houses.
Reducing Student HMOs
Councillors in Loughborough and Worcester are planning to place a cap on the number of student HMOs by preventing landlords from developing new HMOs next to existing ones. Both councils are keen to ensure that the number of shared homes in any 100-metre radius does not exceed 10%. Loughborough council is also hoping to introduce a ban on student car ownership, although this could prove difficult to enforce, as Oxford council found out—DVLA refused to tell the council who owned the cars parked in student areas because of data protection laws.
Why the Limits?
Councils are trying to thin out the number of student homes in multiple occupation because they believe that a large number of HMOs in a small area can change the character of the neighbourhood. They don’t want to get rid of student HMOs completely as they recognise that privately owned shared accommodation for students is essential when places in halls of residence are often extremely limited, but they do want to ensure student HMOs are more evenly distributed across the city.
In a statement issued by Worcester Council, Councillor Gregson said: “This type of housing is some of the most popular in Worcester and we know it’s vital for our local economy, often helping young people who are just starting their careers to affordably live in our great city.”