HMO overprovision consultation launched
Aberdeen City Council has launched a public consultation on an over-provision scheme to control the number of Houses of Multiple Occupation (HMOs) in Aberdeen.
The start of the engagement process follows a decision made by the local authority's Communities, Housing and Infrastructure Committee on August 27.
Members agreed that the cut-off point for the percentage of HMOs within a defined local area should be 15%, subject to the outcome of the consultation.
Officers were previously asked to explore the possibility of introducing a scheme similar to one that was launched in Dundee, where the threshold was set at 12.5%.
In 2012, new powers were introduced under the Private Rented Housing (Scotland) Act 2011 to allow licensing authorities such as Aberdeen to refuse to grant an HMO licence when there is considered to be an over-provision in the area.
Aberdeen City Council's Convener of Communities, Housing and Infrastructure, Councillor Neil Cooney, said: "We need a consistent and workable policy.
"Nothing has been set in stone with regard to the 15% threshold and we await the results of the consultation, which I would encourage people to take part in."
New-build, purpose-built accommodation such as blocks of student flats would be exempt from the policy. The City Council's legal team has also said that public consultation is only part of the process required.
If there is widespread public support for an over-provision policy, council officers would still have to carry out an assessment made of need within the city.
That assessment would also have to look at the extent to which HMO accommodation is required to meet the need in a specific locality.
Members of the public are encouraged to respond to the survey, which is online at http://www.aberdeencity.gov.uk/housing/private_housing/hmo/HMO_Consultation.asp Alternatively, paper copies can be completed and returned to:
Housing Strategy and Performance
Business Hub 11
Second Floor West
Aberdeen City Council
The consultation closes on November 11, 2015.