Councils have received new powers to deal with “student ghettos”.
Housing Minister Grant Shapps announced authorities will have greater flexibility to manage concentrations of shared housing in their area, without tying landlords in red tape.
It follows concerns that parts of Selly Oak in Birmingham are becoming student ghettos because of the high number of privately-owned rented homes designed for multiple occupation.
One study has warned that the proliferation of houses rented to students was changing the character of the area because it reduced demand for nurseries, schools and certain types of shops.
Similar problems have also occurred in Leeds, Bristol, Sheffield and Newcastle.
New laws will allow councils to name areas where landlords need to apply for planning permission before they can rent a property to multiple occupants.
It will allow authorities to turn down the application and is likely to mean that student housing is more spread out, because landlords will tend to avoid areas where planning permission is needed.
Mr Shapps said: “Where too many shared homes are causing problems for other residents or changing the character of a neighbourhood, councils should be able to control their spread.
“But I’m not going to create unnecessary costs for landlords, which puts the supply of rented homes at risk.
“That’s why I’m giving councils the power to decide whether to use the planning system to control the spread of shared housing where it is a problem.”