Stanmore ‘houses in multiple occupation’ – new rules

Press Release: 19/05/2016

New rules come into force this month which mean planning permission is needed to change properties in Stanmore to ‘houses in multiple occupation’ (HMOs).

The aim of the policy is to limit overall numbers and concentration of HMOs in this part of Winchester in the interests of maintaining a balanced mix of residential accommodation.
A recent survey showed that nearly 21% of existing properties in Stanmore are in multiple occupation, while Winchester City Council’s policy sets a maximum of 20% in any neighbourhood.

This means that most new proposals for additional HMOs in Stanmore will not be allowed. Exceptions could apply - for example, where an application relates to the last property in a row that is otherwise in multiple occupation use where it can be shown that the house in question is no longer suitable for continued use as a single family home.

The new rules are known as an ‘Article 4 direction’ and they came into force on 2 May 2016. The criteria for assessing proposals are set out in Winchester City Council’s policy ‘Win 9’ in the Local Plan Part 2.

A small HMO is a property occupied by three to six people who do not form a single household – for example a group of students, friends or work colleagues living together in a property and sharing kitchen and bathroom facilities. Alternatively, it can be a more traditional bedsit-type arrangement occupied by similar numbers who rent a room on an individual basis but share kitchen and bathroom facilities.

The policy and Article 4 direction was introduced in response to local concern that the number of HMOs in Stanmore was increasing and reaching a point where it was affecting the stock and availability of family accommodation.