It is feared that Cardiff council will later this week severely restrict the number of new shared houses in two popular student areas of the city.
The authority is set to vote on the proposed Supplementary Planning Guidance that will severely restrict new HMOs in Cathays and Plasnewydd after claiming there is ‘a disproportionate number’ of such properties in the city.
If the policy is passed, buy to let investors will be refused planning permission to create a new HMO if there is already a certain density of similar homes in the area under the plans.
The threshold for Cathays and Plasnewyedd is 20 per cent and in all other wards 10 per cent. Any properties falling within a 50 metre radius of the proposed new HMO will be considered when making the decision.
The Residential Landlords Association is opposing the move, with the support of Cardiff Students’ Union.
“This policy is discriminatory and attacks those on lower incomes and some of the most vulnerable in society. HMOs provide more affordable accommodation to a wide range of groups, not just students, as explicitly stated in the guidance itself. By effectively banning them you are restricting the total accommodation available, with consequences for rent levels which will increase” says Douglas Haig, RLA director and vice-chairman for Wales.
“This is another bureaucratic measure that will only impede community cohesion. This will have impacts not only on the students, but on single working professionals, which landlords and the local area rely on greatly” he adds.