Planning permission now required for most new HMOs in Havering
On 13 July 2016, Havering Council introduced new planning controls to remove permitted development rights for most smaller Houses in Multiple Occupation (HMOs).
Until that date, no planning permission was needed to change a single family house to a HMO shared by 3 to 6 people.
Following the implementation of two HMO Article 4 Directions, planning permission will now be required to change the use of a house or flat to a house in multiple occupation (HMO) in four council wards – Brooklands, Gooshays, Heaton and Romford Town.
In the rest of the borough, planning permission will be required to change all houses and flats except detached houses, to a HMO with up to six occupants.
This change in planning requirements may come as a surprise to many landlords and letting agents who will now face additional restrictions if they want to rent out a property to a group of people who are not all related.
The Article 4 Directions, created in July 2015, have been brought in by Havering Council in response to concerns over the number of small houses being converted into cramped living accommodation, with negative impacts on neighbouring residents.
Councillor Osman Dervish, Cabinet Member for Environment, Havering Council said:
“This is the right move for us in Havering as we can now monitor HMOs throughout the borough.
“This change will ensure that HMOs are of the decent standard that our residents deserve and improve living arrangements.“
Further information about property licensing and HMO planning restrictions in Havering is available at www.londonpropertylicensing.co.uk/havering. Information about the new HMO planning restrictions is also available on the Council’s website.