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Should new HMOs have en suites to combat Coronavirus?

A councillor has called for all new HMOs to be created with en suite bathrooms, and not shared bathrooms.

The call came during a debate on a planning application to turn a shopfront office and flat into an HMO because it does not feature en suite bathrooms. 

The former Fine & Country estate agency office in Northampton is now to be a takeaway at shopfront level with an HMO above it.


The first floor of the building will feature a shared kitchen, living room and toilet while the second and third floors will each have two bedrooms and a bathroom.

But although the plan was approved, Labour councillor Danielle Stone says the council should insist new HMOs be built with en-suites instead of shared toilet facilities due to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic.

However planning officers told councillors that Coronavirus was not a planning consideration.

According to the Northampton Live news website, officers recommended the scheme for approval despite it breaching planning policy regarding the number of HMOs in concentrated areas.

The authority says HMOs should not be approved if more than 10 per cent of buildings within a 50 metre radius are also HMOs - and this building takes the proportion up to 11.5 per cent.

But because the office has been vacant for some time, is in poor condition and is a retail unit in a location where demand for shops is low, an exception has been made.

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    "New HMOs be built with en-suites instead of shared toilet facilities due to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic"? This makes little sense, as no building company builds a new HMO as such. The term HMO refers to its use as a tenanted property, not the building as such. All rooms with ensuites seems to refer to hotels or students residential blocks, not HMOs.
    (And of course the reference to 'Labour' is irrelevant to the facts of this article.)

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    Well personally I don't do HMOs, however yes I can see the theory behind all this but everything comes with a cost attached to it, bedsits with en suite bathrooms = much increased rents which means they are un affordable to the very kind of tenants that live in HMOs.

  • girish mehta

    Council tax would be another issues. With en-suite accommodation . Some council would ask for higher rates
    Makes it unaffordable.

  • PossessionFriendUK PossessionFriend

    Makes you wonder if the ' Councillor ' is either ignorant or deceitful ( neither particularly redeeming or surprising ! )

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    • 31 December 2020 11:53 AM

    Both. Always.

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    Ridiculous! HMOs fulfill a particular role, catering to a particular tenant. If you want an ensuite, rent an ensuite but don't force people who are trying to spend as little as possible on rent to pay for something they choose not to have.

    Next we will have an increase in LHA to cover the extra costs incurred because of extra facilities!

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    They'll be pushing for every multi storey flat to have its own lift next!

    A virus that is particularly likely to infect the most deprived and vulnerable sectors of society, lethal to the oldest and mostly harmless to the youngest - could have been invented by the Taxpayers Alliance! Definitely not an invention of the Lefties as they would have targeted the young fit productive tax paying sectors of society!

    Perhaps our benefits payment bill will be a lot less next year?

  • George Dawes

    They'll be demanding 24 hour concierge service soon

    All designed to squeeze the little man out of PRS so the big boys who back our corrupt political system get all the money


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