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Consultation launched on Houses in Multiple Occupation in Exeter

Published: 22 May 2023

Consultation launched on Houses in Multiple Occupation in Exeter Consultation launched

A consultation has been launched on changes to planning policy for houses in multiple occupancy (HMOs) in Exeter.

The City Council has a restriction in place that affects the ability to convert regular houses into a HMOs, which are houses occupied by three or more unrelated people.

The restriction is called an Article 4 Direction, and is in place to help manage the impacts of increased numbers of students in Exeter.

In Exeter the Article 4 Direction is currently around the university’s Streatham campus and the city centre, which are popular locations for student accommodation.

The City Council is consulting on extending the area where the restrictions on HMOs apply.

Cllr Emma Morse, Lead Councillor for City Development, said: “Exeter has many HMOS and they are a great housing option for lots of people, including students.

“But as the city and the University grows we want to ensure that communities remain balanced, which is where the Article 4 area comes in.

“Exeter has had an Article 4 area for HMOs for some time, but by extending the area, it means more property owners will be required to seek planning permission to convert a property into a HMO.

“The options that you’ll see in the consultation proposals have been informed by extensive research and discussions with local Councillors, HMO landlords and letting agents, the University of Exeter, student and resident representatives. And we would also like your comments on how we should approach this.”

To find out more about the proposed options and submit feedback visit:

The City Council’s Policy Planning team are hosting in person information sessions to answer any questions and give residents an opportunity to view the proposals and provide feedback.

The sessions take place on:

  • Wednesday 7 June, 1pm-7pm: Exeter Guildhall, High Street
  • Tuesday 13 June, 1.30pm-7pm: Newtown Community Centre, Belmont Park
  • Tuesday 20 June, 1pm-7pm: St James Church Hall, Mount Pleasant Road

Paper copies of the consultation documents are available at the Civic Centre and Libraries across Exeter.  

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