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Council launch review into Houses in Multiple Occupation (HMO)

A review into the way the council deals with HMOs has been launched in response to concerns about the concentration of this type of housing in Northampton.

HMOs are occupied by people who do not form a single household, who share facilities such as kitchens and bathrooms, and reside at the property as their main residence. Commonly, this including bedsits and shared houses.

There are currently about 1,300 hundred registered HMOs in Northampton, which campaigners claim have a detrimental effect on the local community. Issues raised include general poor maintenance, rubbish being a fire hazard - and streets crammed with parked cars.

Cllr Adam Brown, deputy leader of West Northamptonshire Council, said:

“The aim of the Council’s Multiple Occupation (HMOs) review is to thoroughly investigate the issues concerning housing of this nature within West Northamptonshire. It will include a robust analysis of current policies concerning HMOs in Northampton, alongside looking at ways we can use best practice from elsewhere in the country.

"As part of the review we will also be gathering comprehensive evidence and information from a range of stakeholders, including landlords; tenants; estate and letting agents; residents and residents associations; university and colleges; businesses; students; and key workers.

"Once all this information has been gathered, a draft report will be prepared, with a further opportunity for stakeholders to then give their views. Recommendations will then be made to the Planning Policy Committee and we are expecting a conclusion in the Autumn."

The review was originally announced last year and should have been completed in April.

Cllr Adam Brown added: "We wanted to get the review started as quickly as possible, but we're also aware of the fact that it needs to be done as thoroughly and as well as it can possibly be done in order to deliver the results that will have the faith of the public.

"There's never any point in rushing through an inadequate process and leaving people unsatisfied with the results at the end of it all."

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