A private landlord from Leeds thinks that government proposals to move houses in multiple occupation (HMO) out of residential areas will constrict the flexibility of the housing markets to adapt to local circumstances.

Chris Town, who rents out property in the West Yorkshire town, said that the size of HMOs means it is difficult for them to be converted into flats or family housing.

HMOs refer to properties that are frequented by six or more unrelated people, who all have to sign tenancy agreements when moving in. They are popular among university-goers who have left student accommodation such as halls of residences.

It is a common occurrence for students to leave halls after their first year in further education and live with friends in HMOs. It is often their first taste of living in a house that is not owned by their parents.

Mr Town predicted that the only possible result of the government clampdown on HMOs is "decreased investment in local communities and increased blight."

Written by Sarah Field
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