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Ipswich Borough Council agrees on motion for new requirements for HMOs

A motion has been agreed on by Ipswich Borough Council which introduces new requirements for landlords converting their homes to house multiple tenants.

It had been proposed to the executive early last month in a bid to avoid ‘wholly unacceptable adverse impacts’ on residents affected by small houses of multiple occupation (HMOs).

Cllr Carol Jones, who moved the motion, said: “Developers who buy little terraced houses in very nice, ordinary, parts of town should not be allowed to turn those into HMOs without going through a proper procedure.

The motion was agreed for new HMOs in Ipswich. Picture: Joao Santos/IBC
The motion was agreed for new HMOs in Ipswich. Picture: Joao Santos/IBC

“They have to make a planning application which is then judged — it’s a really simple thing.”

The motion was unanimously approved last night by the council and will mean landlords looking to change the use of a dwelling into a small HMO — up to six occupants — will need to go before the planning committee.

Although Cllr Jones was disappointed the motion could not affect the whole of Ipswich, she still welcomed its approval for zones within the wards of Alexandra, Bixley, Castle Hill, Gipping, and others.

This is because national legislation mandates these measures should only be applied to ‘the smallest geographical area possible’.

This leaves Cllr Jones still worried about those who are impacted by these HMOs as many people could be living in poor conditions.

Because HMOs traditionally fall within permitted development, there are often no records of where these houses are within the borough, making it harder for councillors to identify issues.

Nevertheless, the cross-party support for yesterday’s restrictions should mean those in the affected areas see their living conditions improved.