National HMO Lobby


National HMO

What is a HMO?
Local HMO Plans
Ten Point Plan


Leeds HMO Lobby

National Developments
Sustainable Communities
Use Classes Order
HMO Licensing
Taxation of HMOs
Students & Community

National HMO Lobby




The National HMO Lobby in Scotland includes community groups in Edinburgh, St Andrews and Glasgow, and is organised as Sustainable Communities (Scotland) [Suscoms]. The Lobby co-ordinator is Jean Charsley of Hillhead Community Council, Glasgow.

Developments in Scotland
# 1997, SI 1997 3061 (S.195), Town & Country Planning (Use Classes) (Scotland) Order 1997
# 1 Oct 2000, Scottish SI 2000 177, The Civic Government (Scotland) Act 1982 (Licensing of Houses in Multiple Occupation) Order 2000
# 2000, Scottish Executive, Licensing of Houses in Multiple Occupation
# 2000, Scottish Executive, Guidance on the Mandatory Licensing of Houses in Multiple Occupation
# 2004, Glasgow City Council City Plan Policy RES 13 'Multiple Occupancy'
# May 2004, Communities Scotland National Core Standards and Good Practice Guidance for Private Landlords and for Local Accreditation Schemes [see below]
# May 2004, Scottish Executive's Houses in Multiple Occupation (HMO) Working Group
# May 2004, MAGPIE, Petition PE736 to Scottish Parliament, on HMOs
# September 2004, Scottish Executive, Scottish Planning Series Planning Circular 4 2004: Houses in Multiple Occupation: Guidance on the interface between planning control and licensing,
# January 2005, Fife Council Fife Development Plan Policy H6 'Houses in Multiple Occupation'
# 7 March 2005, Housing (Scotland) Bill introduced to Scottish Parliament [see below]
# 10 March 2005, Inaugural Regional Meeting, Edinburgh (reported in press, see The Herald and THES [below])
# 22 April 2005, Olga Wojtas, 'Residents join to fight student enclaves' THES, p4
# 5 Jan 2006 Housing (Scotland) Act 2006
# February 2006, Suscoms, Planning Issues related to Sustainable Urban Development: Evidence to the Scottish Parliament Communities Committee on the Planning etc (Scotland) Bill [SP Bill 51]
# March 2006, Glasgow City Council City Plan 2 Consultative Draft

Housing (Scotland) Bill (Submission HB13)
From: National HMO Lobby
Date: 2 May 2005

Dear Clerk

I write on behalf of the National HMO Lobby, to comment on the Housing (Scotland) Bill. The Lobby is a formal association of some thirty community associations from all parts of the UK, including members in Edinburgh, Glasgow and St Andrews. Our purpose is to campaign for action to address the consequences of concentrations of HMOs (houses in multiple occupation). Such concentrations arise for a variety of reasons, one of the most prominent of which is shared student houses. Information on the Lobby may be found on our website.

The National HMO Lobby welcomes Part 4 of the Bill, as consolidation of the licensing regime in Scotland, which has pioneered HMO Licensing in the UK, and has been followed in Northern Ireland and in England & Wales.

The Lobby wishes to comment on Section 124 of the Bill. 124(a) refers to location, and 124 (f) refers to the possibility of undue public nuisance. HMOs can be problematic for tenants, if the landlord is not properly responsible for their welfare. HMOs can be problematic for neighbours, if tenants' behaviour is un-neighbourly - this is a particular issue in HMOs, whose tenants are typically more numerous than normal residents, younger than normal, far more transient, and also without internal overall management. Where HMOs congregate (often as a result of market pressures), they can be problematic for whole neighbourhoods - the transience of the population undermines the very social capital on which neighbourliness depends. (These issues have received considerable attention in the media, both locally and nationally, not only in Scotland but throughout the UK.)

Concentrations of HMOs therefore need to be resisted. The National HMO Lobby requests that Section 124 makes it clear that living accommodation is not suitable for occupation as a HMO if it increases the incidence of HMOs beyond a threshold of 10% of local residential properties. (Glasgow and Fife for instance have policies limiting HMOs to this proportion of houses.)

The Lobby trusts that its concerns will be taken into account by the Communities Committee.

Yours faithfully
Dr Richard Tyler, Co-ordinator, National HMO Lobby

Accreditation in Scotland
From: National HMO Lobby
Date: 13 December 2004

Dear Eleanor, it was good to hear your talk at the ANUK Conference on Friday, and to meet you afterwards.

The government in Westminster frequently draws attention to the importance of housing provision for the sustainability of communities - for instance, "promoting sustainable development that supports thriving, balanced communities" is one of the key principles in the Green Paper Quality & Choice (2000). But the government doesn't always carry this out.

So I was a bit surprised that your talk didn't take into account the implications of PRS developments for the local community, the neighbourhood. This is what I was getting at in the question I asked you, though not clearly enough. It was in fact the subject of the workshop I gave in the afternoon - for your info, I attach my speaker's notes. My argument is that there is always a tension between the interests of the Community (which requires stability) and the Private Rented Sector (which serves the need for temporary accommodation mostly).

The accreditation scheme in Leeds, and now also ANUK's model scheme, take the community implications of the PRS into account in their codes. I attach also a summary of the provisions which may be included in both landlord and tenant schemes - these were developed for discussion in Leeds, where I represent the community on the Scheme's management committee.

In your own National Core Standards, I wonder if you might consider, for instance, including an eleventh category in your 'Types of Standards' (#1.1, p5), regarding "good relations with the neighbourhood."

And then in the Core Standards themselves, there could be more specific reference to good neighbourliness (#3.15), to the need for maintenance of security (#10.12), and to regard for the environmental impact of the property (provision for waste disposal [#7.4], and the visual amenity of the building, its curtilage and its impact on the streetscene), by both landlord and tenant.

I understand that your concern is not specifically with HMOs - though I believe, despite licensing, there is plenty of room for a code of good practice. I am Co-ordinator of the National HMO Lobby, which is especially concerned with the impact that this element of the PRS has on local communities. I am sure this is an issue in many Scottish towns. We have members so far in two, Glasgow and St Andrews - I can put you in touch with them, if that would be useful.

I am pleased that you are promoting accreditation in Scotland - I hope you can make it productive, not only for landlords and tenants, but also for the often neglected third party, the local community.

Best wishes, Richard Tyler, National Co-ordinator, National HMO Lobby



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