A House in Multiple Occupation (HMO) is a shared house occupied by three or more unrelated people as their main or only residence, sharing basic facilities such as a kitchen or bathroom. HMOs are an important type of housing in Exeter, including for students and young professionals.
In some parts of Exeter, the Council has a restriction in place that affects the ability to convert regular houses to HMOs. This is because concentrations of student HMOs can lead to issues associated with ‘imbalanced communities’ and a lack of permanent residents. The restriction is organised through a planning tool called an Article 4 Direction and means that planning permission is needed to convert a regular house to an HMO.
Our existing Article 4 Direction currently covers an area of the city close to the University of Exeter’s Streatham and St Luke’s campuses. We also have an HMO Supplementary Planning Document (SPD) – a document that explains some of the planning issues we consider when making decisions on planning applications to convert regular houses to HMOs within the Article 4 area.
Consultation details (consultation closed)
We consulted on proposals to change our planning policy on Houses in Multiple Occupation (HMOs) from 22 May to 3 July. The consultation was on options to change the area covered by the Article 4 Direction where restrictions on HMOs apply. We also consulted on some proposed changes to the HMO SPD and the evidence behind our proposals.