The National Landlords Association (NLA) has roundly condemned the Government’s announcement which will reduce the supply of shared housing.
In a statement, Housing and Planning Minister John Healey MP revealed plans which will require planning permission for new shared housing where three or more unrelated people live together. Twenty per cent of private-rented sector properties are shared, a figure which is rising year-on-year.
HMOs play a vital role in providing much needed housing for students, young professionals and those on low incomes who rely on this type of affordable accommodation. Large cities across the UK greatly depend on shared housing as a first step. By making it more difficult and costly for landlords to provide this type of accommodation, these measures will reduce choice for tenants and increase pressure on local authority housing lists.
The Rugg Review, an independent review of the private-rented sector commissioned by the Government, already dismissed these changes to the planning system as an ‘extreme response’ which ‘local authorities are ill-equipped to handle’. The Government clearly has no idea of the impact of this measure on the housing market, according to the NLA.