Harringay online

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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Story on channel4.com here
Yes I saw some of this programme. As usual the enforcement officers suffer from a lack of resources, demoralized work force and lack of focused policy from government. Does this country have a real & effective housing policy? And why is land banking allowed? It stops people buying their own land and building a property to their taste (rather than the boring, predictable horror of the developers).
The Council's response to the longer term HMO issue has been to convene a residents' conference. It's taking place on Nov 16th. The Haringey Policy Team joined HoL last week and posted details on the event here.

I agree, we need article 4.

Yes please count me in and tell me what I can do to help.   I think it's (one of?) the biggest issues for our street and neighbourhood.

On Sept 18th the council voted to adopt an Article 4 Direction in 12 wards. Read more here...

Neil, under current legislation conversion to a six maximum HMO is perfectly legal. The article four direction will mean that this legal right is taken away and that permission must be sought. The A4 direction can't be used retrospectively though so it would be from whatever date the A4 was made effective.
Link to a handy guide below.


David Schmitz posted an update here earlier this month.

Hi Everyone, we're already doing this. Hugh, pls check the website. We're within the 6 weeks consultation period. I'll get more info posted next week. Happy New Year!

Thanks, Nilgun. My post calling for the Council to apply Article 4 was written 18 months ago.  I'm delighted that the Council has now decided to follow this route.  I added a link to Cllr Schmitz's post today in response to other comments made today because David's post points to the appropriate update on the Council website.

Please please apply pressure. Surely the costs of policing will far outweight the costs of Article 4?



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