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BPF win through

publication date: Jun 28, 2010
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Liz PeaceThe British Property Federation (BPF) has won a significant concession on HMO law. Following intense lobbying, Housing Minister Grant Shapps announced that he will undo Labour’s rushed HMO legislation.

It is estimated that as many as 8,500 planning applications could be submitted each year if every landlord looking to let to unrelated tenants was first required to seek permission – instead, councils will be able to focus on neighbourhoods where HMOs present a problem, while landlords of HMOs in other areas will not be tied up in red tape.

Grant Shapps said, “Councils know about local issues with shared homes, and don’t need top-down rules from Whitehall to deal with problems that don’t exist. Where too many shared homes are causing problems for other residents or changing the character of a neighbourhood, councils should be able to control their spread. But I’m not going to create unnecessary costs for landlords, which puts the supply of rented homes at risk.

“Shared homes ensure people who want to live and work in towns and cities can do so, and are vital to the economy. These changes will safeguard the supply of shared housing where it is needed.”

Liz Peace, CEO of the BPF, said, “Grant Shapps has taken quick and decisive action after this law was rushed through in April without clarification. At a time when council resource is scarce and housing is needed it makes no sense to be forcing thousands of local landlords and planning officers to be engaged in unnecessary bureaucracy. The Minister said last week that deregulation would characterise his approach to the private rented sector and as with other moves to cut red tape, these are further welcome steps.”