The Bristol area with the greatest density of HMO properties but residents do not mind

Houses of Multiple Occupancy (HMOs) are often a cause of anger or concern among residents – but it appears that is not in the Bristol neighbourhood that has the highest density of them.

Nearly a quarter of houses in Cotham are classed to be HMOs according to data released by Bristol City Council. There are a total of 1,046 houses of multiple occupancy in the area, which means Cotham is the ward with the greatest density of HMO properties – 21.7 per cent of all housing there are HMOs.

However, this didn’t appear to be a concern or a problem to any of the people we spoke in Cotham Road South on a sunny morning this week.

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Jay Shar, of Tuck News, on Cotham Road South, said he wasn’t surprised to hear the area has the greatest density of HMOs.

“Mostly they are students and a few are house shares,” he said. “I appreciate them because they are good customers. The universities and the hospitals need them [the HMOs] as people do not have enough money to buy houses.

“It is not a bad thing, they do not cause any problems as far as I am aware.”

(Image: James Beck/BristolLive)

Mr Shar said that more facilities should be provided for the houses of multiple occupancy, saying more bins should be provided.

Dom Bareau – who has lived in Cotham for 11 years – was surprised to hear there are that many HMOs in the neighbourhood.

“I live around here and it is great,” he said. “But people find it hard to live in anything other than a house share because of the costs.

“There are lots of students here because the university is so close. I loved it here when I was a student myself.

“They [HMOs] cause no problems at all. Bristol is a student city and I would not want it to be it any other way – I think the students bring a lot more than they take.”

Sabirina Jimaale is a university student living in a house share in Cotham. The 20-year-old is originally from London, but has lived in the neighbourhood for around a year.

“When I heard Cotham has so many house shares I was surprised because the houses look like middle or upper class family homes, not house shares,” she said. It is a nice area here.

“I live in a house share myself with four other girls. I like sharing because it is nice being with people and you do not have any problems as long as you set boundaries – you just have to respect each other’s environments.”

(Image: James Beck/BristolLive)

The 20-year-old history student said that she feels she has become integrated in the area, saying she knows her neighbours who are also students.

University student Karas Karam said he lives on his own but that most of people he knows are living in house shares.

The 24-year-old engineering student said: “It is not surprising there are that many HMOs. Some people prefer it, while others would like to have the privacy [of living on their own] but have to live in a house share because it is cheaper.”

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