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Harringay, Haringey - So Good they Spelt it Twice!

In a long reply on another post on HMOs last week, I concluded with the following paragraphs:


In essence this is where we are at today:

  1. The Council has recognised that there will be a substantial increase in demand for HMOs.
  2. New legislation frees up the supply of housing available for use as HMOs.
  3. The Council has chosen not to use available powers to limit that supply because they say it is too expensive.
  4. Instead they have opted for an approach which depends on managing the quality of HMOs and relies solely on enforcement.

So what’s the likely result? Well You tell me, but what I see is that unless the Council decide to use Article 4, with the liberalised controls, the increased demand for HMOs will be met with an increased supply; the Council's enforcement team will do their best to police HMO quality, but if Council performance on the control of illegal conversions is anything to go by the impact will be limited.


What's the Solution?

I'd like to hear that I'm wrong in drawing the conclusions that I do, but it seems to me that we desperately need Article 4. Other Councils seem to agree. They're applying for it.  Haringey say it’s too expensive. What exactly is the cost? I’d like to see the Council’s report on that.

I’ve been told that much of the cost is in the need to apply for the powers. However, in a previous post I quoted the Royal Planning Institute:

“Most importantly the Minister is also advising that councils with policies already limiting HMO development in parts of their locality, can bring in Article 4 Directions straightaway, without notice, to coincide with the national policy change.”

The problem we had with the spread of gambling establishments was principally an issue with national legislation that the Council had little influence on. With this issue, the Council has the power to control the unmanaged spread of HMOs. If five years down the line, the borough is witnessing multiple problems as a result of an explosion of HMOs we will be justified in pointing the finger at the Council as being responsible and justified in holding them accountable for failing to use the powers that are available.

I'm posting here just to check if folk think we should consider applying pressure for Article 4 or just let the fates do their worst?



Tags for Forum Posts: HMOs Article 4, hmos, new hmo controls, 2011

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I think we should definitely apply pressure and I would be happy to get involved...

Haringey's record on enforcement of existing controls on conversion to HMOs is not that impressive. I agree that improving the quality of accommodation is important, but limiting the way in which landlords can use buildings in the first place would have more impact on the problems. I support putting pressure on the council to have the strongest possible legislation in place.

I think we have to apply pressure for Article 4 otherwise there will be a lot more mismanaged HMOs.

I think we should apply pressure and I am also happy to be involved.

Agree, me too.


Is anyone clear why Art 4 is so expensive?

Because it takes away permitted development rights, eveyone in the proposed article 4 area, and those with a business interest in the area, has to be consulted and then informed of the new restrictions.  Having said that it's money well spent because it makes the enforcement process a lot simpler and cheaper.
My experience with Haringey council leads me to believe that enforcement will be seriously lacking.

Enforcement IS seriously lacking and will be even more so if Art 4 isn't introduced. I've also heard you can get things passed by going through the "right" channels anyway, even if they don't meet with planning policy and rules.

One of the vans in my street (this one actually has a parking permit) has "Rooms to let" emblazoned on the side. There is also a url to a website. Their mission statement from their website:

"We aim to provide students with the opportunity to live in a shared house, mixing with people from many different countries from around the world. Not only will you be able to experience the exciting sights and sounds of London from near central locations – but also learn about other cultures and nationalities and languages first hand."


The van is very clean and modern (and did I mention has a parking permit). I'm just trying to say that it appears someone is trying to do student accommodation nicely, not all HMOs are bad.

Hi John, thanks for the link.

It just shows you can't believe everything you see or read. I couldn't resist looking up their list of accommodation and lo and behold it includes one of the most troublesome, overcrowded, unlicensed HMOs in our area, I'm sure there are more. 

No wonder they can afford lovely new vans, I'm seeing them everywhere, the clue is in the name of the company/ group !

106 and 102 Warham Road are problem properties as far as I remember..?
We had David Lammy around in our street last week on this very issue. He is keen to do something about the HMO problem. We have made endless well documented complaints to the council, building control, planning enforcement. They send officers out, warnings are issued....eventually. Then it stalls. The property owner behind me was told to pull down illegal fencing and a large shed for white goods storage. He went to appeal after appeal and lost. There's an enforcement order. The shed and front fence is still there a year later. People are moving from our road due to all these HMOs expanding unchecked. The old dental surgery annexe (the size of a prefab hut) was turned into 5 bedsits early this year, with tenants (in spite of resident complaints) in approx 8 weeks. The council meanwhile goes through its long winded,toothless procedures which result in unscrupulous landlords doing whatever they like. When is the council going to use its powers instead of more hot air about 'costs'?



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