New crackdown could be approved to tackle substandard HMOs in Dudley

A new crackdown on substandard HMOs could be approved in Dudley to stop rogue landlords who cram tenants into overcrowded homes.

Dudley Council
Dudley Council

Councillors say they need to “make sure that new homes in Dudley Borough meet a certain standard of quality for the good of the people who live in them.”

The proposal, referred to as an Article 4 direction, will now go out for public feedback for at least six weeks before coming back for cabinet approval.

If successful, developers looking to turn a property into an HMO for up to six people will now have to apply to Dudley Council for planning permission under the new ‘Article 4 Direction’ passed on Monday.

While they help to meet a specific housing need, especially for those on a low income, there are concerns that high concentrations in certain areas are harming their character, putting pressure on infrastructure and diminishing community relations.

It is claimed the main issues with HMOs revolve around anti-social behaviour, noise, inadequate living conditions, litter and parking issues. Evidence provided by West Midlands Police and the council’s Anti-Social Behaviour team found a correlation between HMOs and increased crime and drug offence levels.

It is anticipated that consultation would take place from September 15 until 31st October 31.  Councillors say the new legislation will allow the council to keep tabs on the standards of homes across the borough.

Councillor Simon Phipps, the cabinet member for regeneration and enterprise, said: “We need to make sure that new homes in Dudley Borough meet a certain standard of quality for the good of the people who live in them and other residents in the local area.

“It’s clear from the evidence gathered that the unchecked creation of small HMOs using permitted development rights undermines our ability to properly plan developments in our neighbourhoods.”

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