New planning controls will restrict HMOs in Havering

Wednesday, July 22nd, 2015 -

New planning controls will be used to restrict Houses in Multiple Occupation (HMOs) in the London Borough of Havering, according to the latest research by London Property Licensing.

At present, Havering landlords only need planning permission to change a single-family property into a house in multiple occupation (HMO) occupied by more than six people. No planning permission is needed for smaller HMOs.

All this looks set to change following the Council’s Cabinet meeting on 13 May 2015 when a decision was made to restrict the number of new HMOs being established.

As a result, on 13 July 2015 Havering Council made two non-immediate Article 4 Directions that will remove the permitted development rights to change a dwelling from a single-family property (use class C3) to a small HMO with up to six residents (use class C4).

To make matters more complicated, different rules will apply in different parts of the borough.

HMO Article 4 Direction No. 1

The first Article 4 Direction applies in the council wards of Brooklands, Romford Town, Heaton and Gooshays. In these wards, planning permission will be required to change any single-family property into an HMO with up to six occupants.

HMO Article 4 Direction No. 2

The second Article 4 Direction applies to the whole of the borough, excluding the four council wards listed above.

In this area, planning permission will be required to change a self-contained flat, terraced house or semi-detached house into an HMO with up to six occupants. The changes will not apply to detached houses where permitted development rights will remain.

Public Consultation Exercise

Havering Council are consulting on the HMO Article 4 Directions from 13 July to 31 August 2015 and are inviting comments from all interested parties (online consultation here). If the Article 4 Directions are confirmed, they will come into force on 13 July 2016.

The changes are not retrospective and will not impact on smaller HMOs (use class C4) established before the Article 4 Directions come into force.

Councillor Osman Dervish, Cabinet Member for Regulatory Services at Havering Council said: “This continues to be an important issue for our borough and I urge residents take part in the consultation.

We want Havering to be a place where people feel proud to live and controlling the number of HMOs we have in our borough and where they will go is essential to achieving this.

Further information about property licensing and HMO planning controls in Havering can be found at