Tuesday, 27 September 2011

We need to talk about HMOs in Reading #rdg

We are running a consultation on HMOs in Reading and are doing this through a series of focus groups in the wards with the highest number of HMOs.  We're keen to hear from residents of HMOs, landlords and other local residents:


10th October: United Reform Church, Palmer Park Avenue (Park Ward) 4:00pm – 7:15pm

13th October: St Joseph's College Annexe (Redlands Ward) 4:00 pm – 7:15pm

17th October: New Christ Church School, Milman Road (Katesgrove Ward) - 4:00pm – 7:15pm


If you can't make it to one of these events please get in touch with me and to share your views about what the future for HMOs in Reading is.  We believe that demand for HMOs is likely to increase in the next few years in large part due to government policies but also demographics, so it's important we get this right and make sure it works for residents

"Reading Borough Council wants to engage with local residents from neighbourhoods with high levels of Houses in Multiple Occupation (HMOs) through a series of events inviting feedback.

A combination of student accommodation and other individuals sharing properties make parts of Reading a hotspot for HMOs. HMOs can be seen as bringing with them issues such as pressures on parking spaces, bin storage, and increased noise levels.

HMOs are particularly prevalent in the town's terraced streets and the area around the University of Reading tends to have the higher concentrations of HMOs in the town.

Planning legislation relating to small HMOs (broadly speaking those between 3-6 occupants) changed last year. These changes mean that the Local Planning Authority has the ability, where a case can be made, to require a planning application be submitted for future small HMOs

Reading Borough Council is looking for local views and opinions on HMOs to help inform the decision over whether any future small HMOs should require planning permission. To do this the Council is holding three exhibitions and drop in events around the University area of the borough. They are:

10th October: United Reform Church, Palmer Park Avenue (Park Ward) 4:00pm – 7:15pm

13th October: St Joseph's College Annexe (Redlands Ward) 4:00 pm – 7:15pm

17th October: New Christ Church School, Milman Road (Katesgrove Ward) - 4:00pm – 7:15pm


Tony Page, Reading's Lead Councillor for Regeneration, Planning and Transport, said: 'The Council is committed to using all available planning, environmental and housing powers to ensure that HMO's are of a proper standard and do not adversely impact on their locality. Now is the chance for residents to contribute their views and I urge them to do so on what are important issues in many areas of Reading.'

Rachel Eden, Reading's Lead Councillor for Housing and Neighbourhoods, said: "More than a quarter of households in Reading live in the private rented sector including approximately 6% in HMOs. This consultation is an important part of what we are doing as a Council to help ensure that private rented accommodation in Reading works better for residents".

Following the introduction of new laws, a petition consisting of over 220 signatures was presented to the Cabinet meeting in January 2011. The petition stated: 'We, the undersigned, call upon Reading Borough Council to use its powers to require all new house conversions to HMO's to apply for planning permission.'"