Homes in Multiple Occupation (HMO)

Homes in Multiple Occupation (HMO) Development Plan Document

1. Executive Summary

What is a HMO?

A HMO is defined as a property rented to at least three people who are not from one 'household' (e.g. a family) but share facilities such as a bathroom and kitchen. Planning use classes distinguish between 'small' HMOs of up to six people (C4 use class), and 'large' HMOs of seven of more occupants which are Sui Generis (of their own use class). Some HMOs are purpose-built, e.g. student accommodation, but many are created through the conversion of buildings, both in residential and other uses, which often have the potential to initiate physical and social changes to an area.

Why now?

With the city's growing population, there is a need to ensure that new development supports successful communities by ensuring the right mix of housing types in an area, securing appropriate design and supporting well managed properties. Homes in Multiple Occupation (HMOs) provide an important contribution to peoples housing choice, but can have significant impacts on existing residents. At present, Coventry has a population growth rate faster than the national and regional average. Migration flows into the city have driven population growth particularly within the 'young professional' demographic. Residents of Coventry aged between 16-24 make up 14.7% of the city's total population. This also reflects the growth of the city's further/higher education institutions including the two universities, Coventry University and the University of Warwick.

These demographic changes coupled with economic factors which have made it increasingly difficult for younger people and those on lower incomes to finance permanent home ownership, have consequentially underpinned the growth of the private and social rented sectors. Consequently, for communities where HMO concentration has been most noticeable, there are increasing concerns about the changing nature of their communities and neighbourhoods, and the impacts that this has.

The Councils preferred option within this Development Plan Document (DPD) aims to ensure that such development also preserves the residential amenity and character of an area, and that any potential harmful concentrations do not arise and are managed as far as reasonably possible through the local planning regime. However, while this document sets the preferred approach, we are seeking views and any input on any alternative approaches that you may want to put forward supported by robust and strong evidence.

What stage are we at?

This HMO Development Plan Document (DPD) will, once adopted, form part of the formal Development Plan for Coventry City Council. It is being produced in accordance with the Town and Country Planning (Local Planning) (England) Regulations 2012. This 'Consultation Draft' forms part of the statutory consultation required under Regulation 18 of the 2012 Regulations (as amended).

The primary purpose of this HMO DPD is to set out the detailed policy framework that will be used for the determination of HMO planning applications in Coventry. The policies contained within the DPD provide further detail to the strategic policies set out in the Council's Local Plan and City Centre Area Action Plan.

Draft policy approaches contained within this Consultation Draft DPD are intended to further the aims and objectives of both the NPPF and the Coventry Local Plan. They are aimed at guiding both decision-makers and applicants to achieve the highest possible standards of development for HMO proposals in Coventry.

Comments must be received no later than 15th November 2022 and should be submitted online via: