The Welsh Government has commissioned new research into HMO management and the impact of Houses in Multiple Occupation on local communities around Wales, especially in areas such as Cardiff and Swansea, where high concentrations of HMOs can be found.
In addition to studying the effects of HMOs, the new research will also gather evidence on how local authorities are tackling problems that occur in areas with high levels of HMOs, such as waste management, disturbance levels and anti-social behaviour.
Unlike a residential household, which is traditionally comprised of a single family, person or couple occupying the same property, a HMO applies if a property is occupied by 3 or more tenants (forming more than 1 household) with communal facilities, including a shared bathroom, toilet or kitchen. If a property is more than 3 storeys high and has 5 or more unrelated tenants living in it, it is known as a large HMO.
HMOs are prominent in areas with a high student population, such as Cathays in Cardiff, and while they provide an important financial contribution to the private rental sector in Wales, and offer housing for specific groups, HMOs can also have lasting consequences on the local community in which they are situated. The new research will collect evidence on HMOs and assess just how much of an impact these properties have on a local community.
Carl Sargeant, Welsh Housing and Regeneration Minister, has said that the majority of HMOs are occupied by students, which, according to many local residents in the communities, results in excessive levels of noise and rubbish during term time. He continued to say that many permanent residents have noted that these levels are made more apparent during the summer break, when noise and rubbish levels are reduced because the students have gone home. Mr Sargeant added that the new research he has commissioned will explore the nature of this problem and suggest possible solutions. The research is expected to be completed by early 2015, with the results published shortly afterwards.
Following on from the HMO announcement, the Welsh Government has also revealed that it will be launching a consultation on the proposed tenancy contract model that it is looking to add to its Renting Homes Bill. The new Renting Homes Bill proposes two new types of tenancy contracts: the first is a "secure contract", which will be based on the current secure tenancy issued by local authorities, and the second is a "standard contract", which will be based on the assured shorthold tenancy used primarily in the private rental sector. The Renting Homes Bill is expected to be debated in the Welsh Assembly early next year.
CPS Homes are an experienced lettings agent, and offer a wide variety of property services to everyone from students looking to let accommodation to landlords wanting to rent out their property. If you're a landlord looking for more information about HMO management in Cardiff, please contact our friendly and approachable team today.