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Report to look into HMOs in Aberdeen

16/03/16

A report into issues surrounding Aberdeen's houses of multiple occupations (HMOs) was approved at Aberdeen City Council's Communities, Housing and Infrastructure committee yesterday. (Tues 15 March)

Committee convener Councillor Neil Cooney put forward an amendment which was agreed.

The amendment said a report by officers should be written looking at the number and capacity of licensed Houses in Multiple Occupation in all 13 wards are broken down to proposed localities within each ward, the need for housing accommodation in each proposed locality and the extent to which HMOs are required to meet that need, and the report should have a recommendation on whether or not the council ought to set a threshold for overprovision of HMOs in the relevant localities, including proposals for the levels of thresholds for each locality.

The report will be considered by the August CHI committee.

The move follows a report to committee today which said officers carried out a public consultation on the provision of Houses in Multiple Occupation (HMOs) and the possible introduction of an overprovision threshold of 15% per census output area in all areas of the city.

Details of the consultation were sent to a number of relevant organisations including Community Councils, Student associations, Scottish Association of Landlords (SAL) and Registered HMO landlords.

At the close of the consultation on the 25November, 586 online responses and 25 paper copies were received, totalling 611 responses. Eight of these responses were anonymous.

The report to committee today further said the downturn in the oil and gas industry is having a knock-on effect on the private rented housing market in Aberdeen. For the first time in several years, there is a reduction in demand resulting in a reduction in rents. It is unknown what impact this may have on landlords investing in the market.

There are at least 25 purpose-built student accommodation residences either currently under construction, or in the development pipeline, which may result in an additional 2,500 student bed spaces across the City, should they all proceed. At Causewayed, there are two developments currently under construction which will provide 595 bed spaces for the next academic year.

The report to committee today also said although HMO accommodation is not solely occupied by students, they do form a large part of the HMO clientele. Therefore, it is anticipated that the new is number of additional spaces will impact on the smaller HMO provider.