HMOs – coming to a house near you?

HMOs = House of Multiple Occupancy are springing up more and more. They are becoming a lucrative way for property developers to increase revenue opportunities.

Instead of renting out one house to one family, one house can be rented out to five or less people without the need for a licence. None have to be related and each can have their own car – which impacts on local parking. This is more of a serious impact where parking restrictions already exist – one way system, narrow bending road etc. 

Previous residential houses can be changed into a HMO under building regulations with little consideration of the impact on existing residents, local services etc. Planning permission is not required. Nor is neighbourhood consultation. The stress and anxiety for all parties can be intense – including those moving into HMOs.

Covid has seen many businesses go from the High Streets nationally. Big chains and small independents have gone out of business leaving behind an empty shell. Retail will likely never return to normal. So, why not build on the infrastructure left behind and use these empty plots for housing?

These empty plots have the infrastructure for housing – water, sewage, power, external windows. We have the technology to ensure people thrive long-term on submarines, in space, surely we can marry the two to increase housing stock for quality homes for those in need and at the same time revitalise our High Streets nationally?

The best ideas are born from thinking outside the norm. One core thing Covid has taught us all is to think outside the norm. 

Let’s do so now and find a way for some of the most vulnerable in our communities to thrive rather than just survive. Simultaneously, our High Streets will jump back to life and thrive too.

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