NOTE: this consultation closes tomorrow the 7th March
One of the topics discussed at last Thusday's Area Assembly was the proposal for the additional licensing of Houses of Multiple Occupation in Harringay ward and surrounds, namely, part of Turnpike Lane and Green Lanes and all of Salisbury Road. (see map below)
Haringey aims to declare an additional licensing scheme for Harringay under the Housing Act 2004 which allows councils to introduce licensing schemes for HMOs not covered by the mandatory licensing required for HMOs that are 3 or more storeys and occupied by 5 or more occupants sharing facilities.
HMOs covered by this additional licensing scheme include bedsits, shared houses and some buildings containing self-contained flats.
Factors include the sheer number of houses that have been converted without planning permission and appropriate building control, the dumping of rubbish and furniture, complaints of poor management and disrepair in the private rented properties and associated anti-social behaviour. Much of the work done on establishing what the problems are has been carried out in partnership with local residents associations and the HMO working group, chaired by Gina Adamou.
An initial survey discovered that 50% of all converted buildings and 70% of shared accommodation did not comply with legal standards with fire precautions, security and property management being the most common failures. On Green Lanes over 50 HMOs were discovered that should have had mandatory licences and did not. The officer described poor living conditions, including units without windows, being the norm in these properties. Haringey intends to prosecute the landlords of these properties.
As an interesting aside, in response to a tweet about this, Steve of Castles Estate agents said that he was being asked to value more large properties, often in poor state of repair. He also mentioned seeing dangers like overloaded power sockets which coupled with inadequate fire precautions is a fatality in waiting. The fact that Steve is being called in surely means that these Rachmanesque landlords are taking this scheme very seriously.
What do residents need to do?
Haringey are consulting with landlords, agents, businesses and residents in the neighbourhood but welcome comments from the general public. You can find links to the consultations both for residents and landlords, as well as additional information on this page on the Haringey website . You have until 7th March to complete it.
A key point here is that the Council need residents to respond to the survey before they can implement the scheme. So, take a deep breath and spend a few minutes to complete the survey.
When asked, the council team made it clear that they want as many responses as possible, including those from people outside the proposed implementation area. I seem to recall that paper copies will be distributed within the proposed area.
So, as Hugh says, respond away!
I think if enough people fill them in from that zone, it will be clear that they are...
(but in serious answer: perhaps because the houses are smaller? Although in actuality it doesn't mean they're any less overcrowded)