Low house prices and high demand for good quality accommodation makes Sheffield a highly attractive city for property investors.
The University of Sheffield, Sheffield Hallam University, Royal Hallamshire & Northern General Hospitals attract young people from different parts of the UK and all over the world who come to Sheffield to study and start their life careers.
It is assumed that there are currently in excess of 50,000 students studying in Sheffield, many of whom live in non-university owned accommodation. This makes pressure on private housing raising concerns relating to the effects of concentrations of student housing on communities. Those issues include areas with anti-social behaviour, parking problems, poor management of housing stock, the balance of communities and the loss of population outside term time.
Local Councils around the UK decided to manage the pressure points in selected areas with the use of Article 4 Directions.
What is Article 4?
Article 4 Directions are the legal means by which a local authority can require property owners to seek permission to convert a single dwelling house into a small HMO.
The idea is that by doing this the councils are given more control over housing stock through their ability to control the density of HMOs in a given area and also, in the case of conservation areas, this allows councils to consider the impact any development might have on the character of that area (not just HMO’s)
FIND HMO LICENSING SERVICES COMPANIES IN THE HMO DIRECTORY
What Does This Mean for Sheffield’s Residents?
Landlords who have properties within the Article 4 area and want to use them for Houses in Multiple Occupation (Class C4) need to apply for planning permission to do so. This means that the impact of new shared housing in areas where there are already high concentrations can be controlled now.
The main purpose of the Article 4 Direction is to ensure that where opportunities arise, development can be prevented (through control of planning permission), which might contribute to communities becoming unsustainable as a result of a concentration of HMOs.
Department for Communities and Local Government Circular 08/2010 highlights that “a high concentration of shared homes can sometimes cause problems, especially if too many properties in one area are let to short term tenants with little stake in the local community”. This is why legislation has been put in place to allow local authorities to control high concentrations of HMOs where there it’s necessary.