Homes in Multiple Occupation (HMO)

Homes in Multiple Occupation (HMO) Development Plan Document

6. Proposed Assessment Process

6.1 It is proposed that when determining planning applications for new HMOs or additional bed spaces within existing HMOs the following information should be submitted:

  • Completed application form;
  • Block plan of the site (at a scale of 1:100 or 1:200) showing site boundaries and any on-site car parking;
  • Maximum number of occupants;
  • Existing and proposed floor plans showing all room sizes (square metres), room uses and number of persons occupying each bedroom/bedsit;
  • Cycle parking facilities;
  • Appropriate use of acoustic and party wall insulation;
  • Details of the location, layout, design, volume, management and collection arrangements for all recyclable and waste materials; and
  • Details of any associated building works.

6.2 In some cases, additional information may be required to help determine the planning application. Further information on submitting a planning application is available on the Council's website.[1]


6.3 It is proposed that the following approach sets out the residential properties identified for the purposes of calculating the percentage concentration of HMOs and the data sources for the purposes of identifying HMOs.

Stage 1: Identifying residential properties

The residential properties identified are those located within 100m of the centre point of the application site. For the purposes of assessing applications for HMO development, dwelling houses and HMOS that are located within blocks of flats or subdivided properties are counted as one property. This will ensure that calculations of HMO concentration are not skewed.

Stage 2: Count HMOs HMOs are identified from the following sources:

  • Properties licensed as a HMO;
  • Properties with C4 or Sui Generis HMO use or issued with a Certificate of Lawful Development;
  • Declared C4 HMOs recorded in the 12 month notice period for proposed Article 4 Direction, (expected to be approved in 2023); and
  • Council tax records - student exemptions for council tax excluding purpose built student accommodation and private flats.

Stage 3: Calculate concentration

The concentration of HMOs surrounding the application site is calculated as a percentage of the total estimated number of existing HMO units against the total number of residential properties. It is accepted that although the HMO sources listed above provide the most robust approach to identifying the numbers and locations of HMOs in an area, it will not identify all HMOs. Additional HMOs can also impact on residential amenity where they lead to concentrations in the immediate vicinity of an application site, as well as creating other impacts where they proliferate at a broader neighbourhood level.

Planning permission would not be granted where the introduction of a new HMO would result in an existing C3 dwelling being 'sandwiched' by any adjoining HMOs or non-family residential uses on both sides. Planning permission would not be granted where it would result in a continuous frontage of 3 or more HMOs or non-family residential uses. In situations where properties are not traditional houses situated along a street frontage, the policy can be applied flexibly depending on the individual circumstances of the proposal.

Exceptional circumstances

6.4 The concentration of HMOs in an area may be at such a point where the introduction of any new HMO would not change the character of the area. This is because the vast majority of properties are already in HMO use. In these circumstances the retention of the property as a family dwelling will have little effect on the balance and mix of households in a community which is already over dominated by the proportion of existing HMO households. Therefore, the conversion of the remaining buildings to a HMO would not further harm the character of the area.

Question 6: Do you believe this proposed assessment process is reasonable and relevant to addressing to addressing the issues associated with HMO applications in Coventry? If not, what alternative approach would be appropriate and could be justified by robust evidence?
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