A ruling is set to be made later today on whether to reverse a decision to class a seven-bedroom 'house of multiple occupation' (HMO) in Stevenage as unlawful.

Earlier this year, the owner of a York Road terraced house applied to Stevenage Borough Council for a Lawful Development Certificate on the grounds the property has been used as a HMO for more than 10 years.

A HMO is a shared house occupied by individuals who share basic amenities but do not form a single household.

The owner says the house has been a HMO since July 2011, when the first tenants moved in.


However, the council said the evidence submitted failed to prove the property has been operating as a larger HMO for a continuous period of 10 years, only that it was a HMO in 2011/12.

It therefore concluded that the use of the property as a HMO is "not lawful".

The owner has since reapplied for a certificate of lawfulness, submitting evidence which includes 'statements of truth' from the owner, landlord and builder who says he converted the house into a HMO.

A decision on whether this new evidence is sufficient to reverse their previous ruling of unlawfulness is set to be made by the council at a meeting of the Planning and Development Committee this evening.