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Houses in multiple occupation (HMOs) Supplementary Planning Document (SPD): public consultation

HMO occupants: what this means for you

This new draft Supplementary Planning Document (SPD) includes guidance on two main areas concerning houses in multiple occupation (HMOs), or shared rental houses and flats.

The number and location of HMOs in an area

We are updating how we measure the number and location of HMOs in an area, and this will have an impact on whether we grant permission for more HMOs to be created. This is to help us to ensure that there is a balanced mix of housing in Bath that meets the needs of all residents, and that HMOs don't affect the character or historic value of any parts of the city.

The quality of accommodation 

This SPD has added guidance which aims to ensure that new HMOs provide a good standard of accommodation for occupants. This includes technical guidelines for the following aspects of accommodation quality:

  • Making sure your accommodation is moderately energy efficient, where this is practical. This should reduce heating bills, as well as making the accommodation more environmentally friendly
  • Setting minimum size standards for bedrooms and communal living areas
  • Guidance to reduce the impacts of noise, from sharing a property, or from one flat to another. This includes recommendations for construction materials and fittings, or how rooms are located in relation to each other
  • Standards to ensure that your accommodation is well ventilated, and is less likely to suffer from damp