Changes to Houses in Multiple Occupation

The Planning controls for Houses in Multiple Occupation consultation is now closed. We will update these pages when further details are available.

A HMO is any property occupied by three or more unrelated people who form two or more households and who share basic amenities for example a kitchen and / or bathroom.

The council is consulting on changes to the Houses in Multiple Occupation Supplementary Planning Document (HMO SPD). This restricts the change of use of houses to HMOs in areas with an over concentration of HMOs. Planning permission is not currently granted for new HMOs in local areas where over 10% (in Bassett, Swaythling and Portswood) or 20% (all other wards) of dwellings are HMOs. The proportion of HMOs is assessed within a 40 metre radius of the application property.

The council is proposing to apply a consistent 10% threshold throughout the city. It is also proposing to prevent new HMOs if they would ‘sandwich’ existing properties i.e. result in a family home being hemmed in by HMOs on both sides. The exceptional circumstances when permission may be granted will also be clarified.