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.