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Harringay, Haringey - So Good they Spelt it Twice!

Hi everyone, 

I am looking for some advice.

The owner of one of the large restaurants on Green Lanes also owns a few HMOs on the Ladder, including one on my road. It is a constant eyesore with overflowing bins, dumped mattresses etc. He has tried and failed several times to add two more rooms to the 8 rooms he currently lets out.

However since last week all the residents have moved out and he is doing some work on the property. Word on the street is he is turning the HMO into 3 or 4 flats.

I have looked for a planning permission on Haringey Council 's site but cannot find anything. 

Nor do I know if he is allowed to and does not need permission. Meanwhile they're busy working and filling up several skips. Don't you need permission for those too? 

Does anyone know the answer? 



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As far as I know the issue is whether the change of use is material or not. This depends on all the circumstances including the impact on the amenities of the area. For example, it is more likely that there will be a material change of use if there is a significant increase in noise, parking, comings and goings etc, as a result.

Depending on the precise circumstances, the change of use may be one that doesn't require planning permission. You'd have to know more. Best to contact your councillors and planning enforcement to get it checked out. 

It just occurred to me to wonder whether perhaps your landlord is converting HMOs to flats to let them as AirBNB properties. After posting this thread, I read another piece by the same author which points up how common this practice is becoming in London. 

i have googled FOR YOU  about skips - Skip permits are available from your local council. Most councils allow the skip hire company to apply for the skip permit on your behalf but a few require the person hiring the skip to order the skip permit directly. Check with your council to see what their skip permit process is.

AND for haringey council planning permission search which gets help for you if look at 


Thanks for your replies Hugh. I have contacted planning enforcement by email but haven't heard back yet. 

You'd have to be very confident in the current market to do that, especially in somewhere unheard of by tourists like Harringay (although the Piccadilly Line will no doubt be familiar to many). Supposedly there's been a surge of compact but very well furnished apartments which are obvious AirBNB places on mainstream letting sites like Rightmove... https://www.wired.co.uk/article/airbnb-coronavirus-london

You should contact Haringey's planning department. If they are changing the number of residential units, they would need to apply for planning permission for a Change of Use. I believe there is an Article 4 direction in some parts of the ladder which prevents houses being sub divided into flats too, as there are too many that have had this done over the years. HMO's are usually classed as single family dwelling houses, so they would need to apply for planning permission to convert a single family  dwelling house into 3 self contained flats

The Article 4 is about controlling new small HMOs of 3 to 6 people (which otherwise don't need planning permission. You always need planning permission to convert a dwelling into multiple self-contained flats.

However, if the HMO has 8 separate lettings it would be "sui generis" and not a single family dwelling, but it would still require planning permission to convert to self-contained flats. However, some of the criteria in the policies that control conversions self-contained flats might not be directly relevant if they are about protecting single family dwellings.

Yes, there is certainly one for HMO. However, there is/or was (historically at least) one that meant houses couldn't be sub divided into flats in some parts of the area. I had looked at this in relation to my own house which I had wanted to make into 2 self contained flats, and wasn't able to because of an article 4 direction. That being said it was a good few years ago and things might well have changed. I suppose that article 4 probably led to the rise in HMO that we now have in the area 

I'm just surprised that it appears that people seem to be against converting an HMO into self-contained flats.

Surely 3 or 4 flats are preferable to an 8-room HMO ?

If this was next to me, I'd want to know what those flats would be used for. 

Maybe you could enlarge on your worries ?

You don't think they will provide decent living accommodation ?

See my comment above.



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