Nine students in dwelling materially harms residential amenity

Enforcement action taken against nine students occupying a dwelling in Lancashire proved successful after an inspector agreed with the council that in combination with an adjoining house in multiple occupation (HMO), it caused unacceptable disturbance to local residents.

The appeal property had been lawfully used as a HMO for up to six people. However, permission was required for its use by up to nine residents and the council asserted that it would intensify the number of HMOs in the area contrary to its policies. It also asserted that students in the property were known to congregate late at night in the rear garden giving rise to noise and disturbance.

Since the property could be lawfully occupied by up to six people, the issue was whether its use by nine people was materially harmful, the inspector decided. It did not increase the number of HMOs in the street and had not affected the building’s character. However, it did have a very close relationship with the adjoining property which the council was also investigating whether it too was a HMO. Both sets of students appeared to hold parties in the rear gardens and one local resident had a health condition which affected his sleeping and whose bedroom window faced directly towards the appeal site. It was reasonable to conclude that the number of students congregating at the appeal site undermined the amenity of residents due to noise and disturbance and the enforcement notice was upheld.

Inspector: D Hartley; Written representations

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