A new action plan to tackle issues around HMOs is being drawn up by a Midlands council next week.

West Northamptonshire council’s cabinet meet on Tuesday to consider the latest report which details proposals to crack down on unregulated and poorly managed HMOs.

Proposals put forward in the plan include tackling litter and rubbish generated by HMOs; monitoring general maintenance of properties; reviewing room sizes and amenities for tenants; maintaining a register of licensed HMOs; enforcement action against unlicensed HMOs; reviewing the regulatory regime; including the Council’s Additional HMO and Selective Licensing regimes; and ensuring information is available to local communities via the council website.

Other proposals in the plan include improving parking in neighbourhoods with HMOs by investigating vehicle ownership and use across licensed HMO properties and single-family dwellings of a comparable size, and reviewing rules and best practice relating to HMOs and their impact on local communities in other areas of the country.

The report also recommends that planning decisions are made in line with the Article 4 Direction policy – planning legislation which allows the council to remove permitted development rights in order to protect local amenities or the wellbeing of an area, and to ensure that this information is available to residents, communities, property owners, and developers.

Adam Brown, council deputy leader, says: “West Northamptonshire Council recognises that similarly to many other areas across the country, HMOs and how they operate are a cause for concern for many residents.

“HMOs form part of the overall housing supply across West Northants and are particularly beneficial for people on low incomes, key workers and students – but they must be licensed and managed properly … These proposals aim to further equip the council to protect tenants, support landlords and make our neighbourhoods more pleasant for everyone.”

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