Peterborough residents asked if more action is needed over HMOs

An online survey has been launched to ask Peterborough residents if further measures are needed to control Houses of Multiple Occupation (HMOs) in the city.

Sunday, 5th December 2021, 4:58 am
The site of a proposed new HMO in Peterborough.

Peterborough City Council is conducting the online survey to get an understanding of how many unlicensed HMOs could be in the city and the impact of these on nearby residents.

Unlicensed HMOs can cause issues such as parking, noise and over-crowding, as the city council is unable to ensure owners of these properties are complying with rules and legislation.

If there is found to be an issue, the council has powers at its disposal, including introducing an ‘Article 4 direction’, which would mean that planning permission would be required for any proposals for new HMOs.

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The survey is now live and includes an interactive map feature which allows residents to check whether buildings they suspect to be HMOs in their neighbourhood are licensed or not. As part of the survey residents will be asked to provide as much information and evidence as possible.

Once the survey ends, city council officers will gather the responses and investigate any possible unlicenced HMOs that have been reported. They will then use this information to determine how much of an issue the city has and whether this is solely concentrated in pockets of areas around the city, or the city overall. Crucially, it will then decide if a blanket Article 4 is needed, or if tighter controls could be introduced into individual wards instead.

Councillor Steve Allen, cabinet member for housing at Peterborough City Council, said: “We are looking to residents to tell us if our current approach to HMOs is working, or if extra measures are needed.

“Does the council know about all the HMOs that are operating in the city? If not, this is your opportunity to tell us about them. Are unlicensed HMOs causing a negative impact in terms of littering, car parking or overcrowding in your area? If we don’t know about them, we can’t take any further action that is required, such as introducing an Article 4.”

For further information, to access the interactive map to look at licensed HMOs in the city and to fill in the online survey, log onto the council’s website www.peterborough.gov.uk/residents/housing/houses-in-multiple-occupation/hmo-survey.

The survey will close at 11.55pm on Monday, 3 January 2022.