Council to curb number of house shares

Following a petition from residents calling for an article 4 direction to be implemented in the West End, City of Lincoln Council wants to control the number of shared houses in the city.

An Article 4 direction would give the council more control over the amount and location of houses with multiple occupants as property developers and home owners would have to apply for planning permission to convert a property into a house share.

Councillor Neil Murray wants better regulation of landlords and a reduction of shared houses in central Lincoln.

Councillor Neil Murray wants better regulation of landlords and a reduction of shared houses in central Lincoln.

Councillor and portfolio holder for planning policy and economic regeneration, Neil Murray (Labour), tells The Linc the move is necessary to secure a balance between shared and other types of housing in central areas of the city.

“This is an issue I care very strongly about both as a politician as a resident in this city for more than 40 years. More and more houses in central Lincoln previously occupied by a family is being turned into shared houses for students or workers.

“Most of residents living in shared housing is transient and they don’t establish strong links with the local community. We are also seeing several examples of landlords who uses house shares as a cash cow without doing the necessary maintenance of the property.

“By requiring property owners to sign up to a register we can inspect properties and root out rogue landlords. Regulation will create stronger local communities and protect tenants.”

Cllr Murray says the Council is not targeting students specifically but all types of shared housing in the city.

“Our strategy is to make sure that there is enough specialised housing such as halls available in Lincoln so the pressure is not to great on the regular market. A reduction of shared housing units in Lincoln will not reduce the overall level of accommodation available as building of student flats are on track.

Over 1,000 people have signed a petition to reduce teh number of house shares in the West End.

Over 1,000 people have signed a petition to reduce the number of house shares in the West End.

Cllr Chris Burke, chair of the council’s Policy Scrutiny Committee, said: “Shared housing provide an important source of private rented accommodation, particularly for people on low incomes, students, young professionals and migrant workers.

“However, such properties can present issues around the maintenance and also the loss of community due to the transient nature of some residents. There can also be issues with noise and parking, due to the number of people living in one property.”