Hounslow Council set to introduce HMO planning restrictions in Hanworth Ward

Thursday, January 26th, 2017 -

New planning restrictions for Houses in Multiple Occupation (HMOs) look set to be introduced in the London Borough of Hounslow in November 2017.

Research by London Property Licensing has revealed that in November 2016, the council made a non-immediate HMO Article 4 Direction with the intention of removing permitted development rights and preventing more properties being converted into HMOs without planning consent.

The council says this will enable the council to better manage the impact of small HMOs in the Hanworth Ward to ensure they are of a suitable size and standard and to protect the stock of small family accommodation and the amenity and character of the area.

Whilst accepting that HMO’s are an important source of low cost, private sector housing for those on low incomes, students and those seeking temporary accommodation, the council report states that HMOs are often associated with poor standards of accommodation, loss of local character, pressure on parking, additional noise and disturbance, loss of single family properties, increased pressure on local services and a general loss of environmental quality.

The report notes that across most of the borough, there is no major problem caused by properties being converted into HMOs and that this housing provides an essential relatively low cost housing option.

In the Hanworth area, the council says that over the past year numerous properties most notably in and around The Alders and surrounding roads have been extended and then converted to small HMOs using permitted development rights.

The council says that the area is proving very attractive for HMO landlords as it offers a reliable rental income and a good return on capital. The council however remains concerned that a high concentration of shared homes can lead to problems.

Consultation exercise

Before introducing the new planning restrictions, the council will consult with all interested parties for at least 21 days and will advertise the consultation on their website, on signs in the local area and in the local paper.

At time of reporting, London Property Licensing does not know when this will be carried out or indeed, if the consultation has already been completed. We are awaiting an update from the council.

Subject to confirmation, the new restrictions are expected to come into force on or around 5 November 2017.

London Property Licensing has published further information about HMO Article 4 Directions that can be viewed here. Further information about property licensing and HMO planning restrictions in Hounslow is also available at