Southampton council to crack down on ‘student ghettos’

Southampton's tightening HMO regulations make choppy waters for landlords.

It is expected that Southampton Council will tonight pass a motion to clampdown on what it refers to as ‘student ghettos’ in the city.

The council wants to stop areas being overrun by the spread of HMOs, especially in certain areas such as Polygon and Portswood, where it is feared that the student population cause litter and noise pollution.

If approved the city wide Article 4 Direction will come into force in March, meaning that a landlords will have to obtain planning consent for a house shared by three to six unrelated residents.

David Cox from the NLA warned that it could push rents up in the city. He pointed out that good landlords don’t need further regulation in a tough economic climate and added that there was ‘insufficient justification’ for the motion as there is very little difference between a typical family home and a small HMO.

Fred Knight speaking for the Southern Landlords’ Association said that it would push landlords to convert larger homes into smaller flat units to avoid the planning regulations.

Southampton University Students’ Union said that little regard had been given to students who had little choice but to live in HMOs, and added that the regulations alone would not deal with anti social behaviour associated with HMOs.

Southampton will be among a dozen authorities to bring in article four restrictions.

Comments

  1. Yet another ill thought out idea by the government, in tough times they decide stifling an area of the housing market that is otherwise thriving is a good idea…
    HMO’s are needed in the city, its too late to try and drive students out of the Polygon, Portswood and Highfield, there are 90% student housing in these areas anyway so why try and protect the few that are left as family homes as frankly no families want to live in these areas anyway!

    Zoning areas for HMO’s would be a far better idea than banning them.

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  1. [...] It is expected that the new rules would come into force in April 2012. Such measures are already in place in Leeds, Portsmouth, Manchester and Southampton. [...]

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