Is the Cardiff House Share an Endangered Species?

The Cardiff house share is in great danger due to a number to changes to taxation and legislation to the Private Rented Sector (PRS) across the UK in 2016 with Wales leading the way with the roll out of Rent Smart Wales a national landlord and letting agent register which came into force on 23rd November 2016.

As well as the introduction of Rent Smart Wales the Welsh Assembly Government have also introduced further legislation around the creation of Houses in Multiple Occupation (HMO) or more commonly known as house shares. Prior to 25th February 2016 in Wales the C3 planning use classification applied to all dwelling houses up to and including six tenants but on the 25th February 2016 Wales introduced a C4 planning use classification of HMO: “tenanted living occupation by 3 to 6 people, who are not related and who share one or more basic amenities, as their only or main residence.”

Why is C4 HMO Use Class Such a Problem?

In England, it’s not.  It has long been accepted that permitted development rights ensured a property owner would automatically have planning permission granted by the General Development Order where an existing single family dwelling (C3) is used as a small HMO (within class C4) or vice versa.  However, all properties in Wales with 3 to 6 (unrelated) tenants now require a change of use application to be made, at the recently increased planning fee of £380 and there is NO GUARANTEE OF APPROVAL for your house share in Cardiff or else where is Wales.

Cardiff Council’s Approach to House of Multiple Occupation (HMO)

From a landlord and property investor perspective it looks as if Cardiff Council is going all out to stop the creation of additional house shares within the city.  Cardiff Council is to try to control the total concentration of house shares in each area by denying landlords in those areas planning permission to move between HMO classes if the concentration for that area has already been met, and the property falls within 50m radius of the designated area.  The threshold for the ward’s of Cathays and Plasnewyedd is 20 percent and in all other wards 10 percent.

Here is a link to Cardiff Council’s HMO Supplementary Planning Guidance:

So as can been seen from housing legislation that has been introduced by the UK Government , Welsh Assembly Government and Cardiff Council there is going to be a decrease in the overall number of Houses of Multiple Occupation (HMO) being created in Cardiff even though the number of people looking to house share in Cardiff is ever increasing as they search for high quality affordable accommodation.

HMO plans for Bangor slammed by the council

More council HMO bashing is taking place in Bangor, North Wales as a health authority plan to turn to two large buildings in Bangor into houses of multiple occupation (HMO) have been slammed by councillors.

The Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board has submitted applications to change Bodfaen, on Craig y Don Road, into a seven-bedroom house of multiple occupancy (HMO), and 26 College Road into an eight-bedroom house of multiple occupation (HMO).

The plans were discussed at a meeting of Bangor City Council’s planning and amenities committee last week and councillors immediately dismissed them as “disgraceful” and claimed developments such as this were turning Bangor into “a ghetto”.

The city council has been very clear on its policy on HMOs with many recommended for refusal due to reasons such as over-development of the sites.

Cllr June Marshall said: “Plans for a HMO in Garth were refused and we need to be careful because we don’t want entire streets which are HMOs.

“I am very happy to propose this application is refused.”

Cllr John Wynn Jones said: “There is an effect on society if there are too many HMOs.

“It is very irresponsible (of the health board) – I think it’s disgraceful.

“I think we should write to them and ask them what their intentions are.”

Cllr Derek Hainge, chairman of the committee, asked councillors about writing to the health board and ask them if they are turning the city “into a ghetto”.

Cllr Keith Marshall said: “They should turn it (Bodfaen) into a family house and then put it on the market.

Town clerk Gwyn Hughes said he was concerned over parking amenities for the two sites and also stated his continued concerns over the amount of HMO applications the council was receiving.

Councillors voted unanimously to recommend rejection for the two applications which will now go before Gwynedd Council’s planning committee.

A spokesman for Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board said: “We can confirm that Change of Use applications have been submitted to Gwynedd County Council Planning Service for two properties which are to be vacated shortly due to the transfer of staff to other health board sites in Bangor.

“The Health Board will respond to any material objections raised as part of the normal planning process; our understanding from Gwynedd County Council is that no objections have been received by them to-date.”

Rooms in Cardiff is a provider of landlord services across Cardiff and South Wales specialising in multi let property, Student housing, professional house share and house of multiple occupancy (HMO) and offer the following services:

Rooms to Rent in Cardiff  £120 Fixed Fee Tenant Finder (No Tenant No Fee)

Property Listing page to advertise your available rooms on Spareroom, EasyRoomMate, Gumtree and Zoopla until let for one Fixed Price.

HMO Rent Guarantee No Void Periods & No Fees

You can contact Rooms in Cardiff via email

Telephone 0845 496 0000

or by completing the form below to arrange a call from one of our team.